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The World Prepares For Earth Hour 2017

Earth Hour is set for later tonight, and many parts of the world are expected to go dark to show their support for protecting the planet.

Millions of people in over 170 countries and territories are set to participate as homes, hotels, businesses, universities and landmarks will turn off their lights at 8:30 p.m. local time for one hour. Earth Hour is a demonstration of commitment to address and fight climate change, USA Today reports. The project is now in its 11th year.

Some of the world’s most iconic places will go dark, including: the Empire State Building, the Space Needle, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Colosseum in Rome, the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House.

Terry Macko, senior vice president of marketing and communications at World Wildlife Fund, says,

There’s never been a more critical moment in the fight.

Referring to the United Nations climate pact that countries signed last year in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, Macko adds, “Earth Hour is the opportunity to send a message that we remain steadfast in delivering on the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Aside from turning off all the lights for an hour, Earth Hour also encourages people to show support for the global movement through social media. Participants can change their Facebook profile picture, donate their Facebook feed, tune in to Earth Hour live performances on Facebook Live and offering donations.

While going dark for an hour does not affect greenhouse gas emissions, it is a symbolic gesture, according to Aiguo Dai, a professor in the department of atmospheric and environmental sciences at the University at Albany.

Dai says, “If all of us can find ways to save energy and reduce consumption of fossil fuel, then it will significantly reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases, and that could slow down global warming. If that still won’t be enough, we need to develop new sources of green energy and move away from fossil fuel.”

Celebrities like Maroon 5, and hotels chains like Hilton and Marriott are set to join the event in their own way.

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