One hour for the planet: HCM City goes dark for Earth Hour 2023

Update: 27/03/2023
Thousands of volunteers, young people, and citizens enthusiastically participated in the Earth Hour 2023 event by turning off their lights for one hour to show their support for the campaign on the evening of March 25, in HCMC's Youth Cultural House.

A large number of volunteers used LED lights from their phones to cheer at the one-hour lights-off event in HCMC. (Photo: SGGP)

Along with 7,000 cities in 192 countries and territories worldwide, thousands of volunteers, young people, and citizens enthusiastically participated in the Earth Hour 2023 event by turning off their lights for one hour to show their support for the campaign on the evening of March 25, in Ho Chi Minh City's Youth Cultural House.

Contributing to changing environmental protection awareness

Although the one-hour lights-off event was scheduled to take place at 8:30 p.m., the atmosphere at the 4A Stadium at the Youth Cultural House had already been lively and vibrant since the early morning, with many activities such as the Green Steps - a 5-kilometer run, recycled products exhibition, and exchanging used batteries for greeneries. As the event drew closer, the atmosphere grew even more lively and enthusiastic, with cultural performances, flash mobs, and exchanges with environmental ambassadors.

Young people participate in the "Green Steps" running race. (Photo: SGGP)

At exactly 8:30 p.m., after the countdown by the MC and the cheers of thousands of volunteers under the stage, the entire area of the Youth Cultural House and the surrounding areas simultaneously turned off their lights.

To support Earth Hour 2023, the HCMC People's Committee has urged organizations, agencies, and citizens to turn off unnecessary lights and devices during the event. The city organized activities to raise community awareness of efficient energy use and environmental pollution reduction, especially as the country has been implementing a plan to cope with climate change.

By conducting targeted awareness campaigns, the city aims to shift the community's mindset towards viewing the adoption of energy-saving and resource-conserving solutions as routine practices in support of the city's responsibility towards environmental preservation and energy conservation.

Millions of people as one

The Earth Hour campaign was first organized in 2007 by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). According to the WWF, this is the only, largest, and most-attended event on Earth. The Earth Hour campaign has received a response from more than 7,000 cities in over 192 countries and territories, including Vietnam.

In particular, in 2023, the campaign received the support of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and many celebrities. Many landmarks around the world have also been recorded to have turned off their lights for one hour to participate in the program, such as the National Speed Skating Stadium in Beijing, China, Zhuzhuang in Kunshan, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, the UN headquarters in New York, the Independence Monument of Cambodia, and Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.

The ceremony of turning off lights for one hour in response to Earth Hour campaign in HCMC. (Photo: SGGP)

Dr. Kirsten Schuijt, CEO of WWF, said that this year WWF established an online Hour Bank - an online record of all positive activities for the planet that people commit to for Earth Hour. With the goal of achieving a value of 60,000 hours or seven years to reflect the time we have left to restore nature and steer towards the benefit of people and the planet, WWF has received an incredible total of committed hours on the hour bank, exceeding the target of seven years.

"If the voice of the community is heard, the platforms are used, and influencers join in, we will be able to prevent and reverse the loss of nature by 2030," Dr. Kirsten Schuijt emphasized.

Vietnam is recognized as one of the ten countries with many positive activities responding to the Earth Hour campaign. With the message "Saving Electricity - Becoming a Habit", the Ministry of Industry and Trade has requested that the People's Committees of provinces and municipalities coordinate to organize activities to respond to the campaign.

Many activities responding to the campaign are recorded to have taken place across the country, such as committing to using efficient and energy-saving electricity in enterprises and households, exchanging with schools, organizing contests, performing flash mobs, walking with ambassadors, and painting to respond to the campaign, cycling, collecting electronic waste, planting green trees, and caring for and protecting forests.

Dr. Kirsten Schuijt, CEO of WWF, warns that global temperatures expected to rise by over 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030 at the latest, which poses a risk of global instability and irreversible environmental degradation. It also means that many individuals and families in communities worldwide will lose their homes and access to basic necessities, such as food, clean water, and all livable environments. Therefore, the Earth Hour campaign has become more crucial than ever.

By Minh Xuan, Minh Hai – Translated by Da Nguyet

Source: SGGP Online - - March 26, 2023