Sydney skyline before Earth Hour Photo: James Alcock
At 8.30 pm on Saturday 27 March nearly 100 iconic landmarks in 1,000 cities and towns around the world will switch off their lights for Earth Hour 2010, joining hundreds of millions of people showing their commitment to the environment.
The Sydney Opera House, Sydney Tower, Harbour Bridge and Luna Park are among the landmark buildings taking part. Around the nation, Melbourne's Luna Park, Rialto Tower, Arts Centre and Crown Casino, Brisbane's Story Bridge, Adelaide's Town Hall and Rundle Mall Lantern and The National Library and Australian War Memorial in Canberra are also switching the lights to "off".
For the first time, Sydney Harbour National Park will welcome guests to Goat Island to observe Earth Hour.
Visitors are invited to spend a quiet afternoon on the Island, where they can have a picnic, go on a tour of the convict-built Powder Magazine complex, or just relax and enjoy the views.
Information stalls will help guests learn practical ways to reduce their power use and save money, and a presentation of Al Gore's Climate Project has also been scheduled.
Pre-Earth Hour entertainment is on hand, and visitors can stay on into the evening and watch the lights go out (or take the ferry back to the city before Earth Hour begins).
Earth Hour started in Sydney in 2007 and word quickly spread. By 2009, the Great Pyramids, Eiffel Tower, Christ the Redeemer statue, Buckingham Palace, Beijing's Olympic Stadium and many more iconic sites around the world joined in.
Sydney skyline during Earth Hour Photo: James Alcock
This year, the United States of America's famous landmarks – including the Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State Building, Mount Rushmore and even the lights of Las Vegas – will switch off in what organisers the World Wildlife Fund call "a decisive display of climate action from one of the most significant nations on the climate landscape".
The world's three tallest buildings – the new Burj Khalifa in Dubai, CN Tower in Toronto and Taipei 101 in Taiwan – are going dark for the global event.
Hiroshima will become the first Japanese city to show its commitment to global climate action when the lights go out on its iconic Peace Memorial. In London, lights will dim on the world-famous London Eye and the Coca-Cola sign in Piccadilly Circus will switch off.
"The actions shown by cities of the world and their residents are crucial to leading a low-carbon resolution to climate change," says Earth Hour Co-Founder and Executive Director, Andy Ridley.
"The C40 suggests that cities are responsible for up to 75 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions, so their role in addressing what is unequivocally the greatest threat to the planet today is absolutely vital," Ridley says.
"By turning the lights off for Earth Hour, cities are reflecting the aspirations of their citizens as a community that has resolved to take action on global warming."
Visit the Australian Earth Hour website and the international Earth Hour site for regular updates.
Earth Hour on Goat Island
- Ferries depart hourly between 3.15 pm and 6.15 pm from Circular Quay, with regular returns until 10 pm.
- Cost: Adults $30.00, children $22.00, families (2 adults/2 children) $90.00 (including GST).
- Ticket price includes the ferry trip and activities.
- Tickets can be pre-booked (by calling 02 9247 5033) or purchased on the day at Cadman's Cottage (numbers are limited).
- Cold soft drinks and water will be available for purchase on the Island.