Ten Abu Dhabi organisations have committed to participating in the global conservation initiative Earth Hour. The World Wildlife Fund event, which went global for the first time in 2008, is an awareness-raising effort in which non-essential lights and appliances are turned off in buildings in cities across the world for one hour. In 2008 over 400 cities turned the lights out, with participation from 2.2 million people and thousands of businesses, the WWF reported. This year Earth Hour will be held March 28, starting at 8.30pm local time.
In Abu Dhabi, in addition to the Environment Agency (EAD) - organisers of this event in the emirate - 10 other organisations will contribute, including the Ambulatory Healthcare Services company, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Food Control Authority, Zayed University, the Higher Colleges of Techonology, Adnoc, AD Future Energy Company, AD Distribution Company and Standard Chartered Bank. All agencies participating in Earth Hour will submit reports to the EAD showing how much electricity was saved. The report will be released days after the lights go out, showing any difference in energy consumption made by turning the lights out.
"It may not be a solution to global warming, but it's a step in the right direction," said Majid al Mansouri, secretary general of EAD. During last year's Earth Hour, millions of people in cities around the world left their homes to see the plug pulled on some of international icons, such as the Coca Cola billboard in New York City's Times Square and the Sydney Opera House. Dubai participated in Earth Hour last year and has already announced it will participate in this year's event. firstname.lastname@example.org