“Iconic landmarks around the world, including The London Eye, Empire State Building in New York, Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, and the India Gate in Delhi, went dark for the period. The Earth Hour drive, launched by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), kicked off in Sydney in 2007.”, said The Gulf Today in its editorial on Sunday.
The U.A.E. too joined in the eco drive, as landmark buildings such as the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah Museum and Qanat Al Qasba in Sharjah embarked on the hour-long switchoff.
“The nation joined the rest of the world in making the planet more sustainable. Truly, it was beefing up the resolve of its environmentally-conscious people to make the world greener and livable, to shake off the environmental shackles of pollution and waste.”, added the paper.
Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, rightly reiterated the U.A.E.’s commitment to environmental protection and active participation in the development and implementation of innovative solutions to protect environmental sustainability. The U.A.E. Cabinet recently banned the sale of inefficient bulbs in the country to help save more than Dhs660 million per year on energy bills and carbon emissions, the equivalent to removing 165,000 cars off the road and 940,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year. The ban will be effective from July 1.
The U.A.E. has also drawn up a green development strategy to morph into an eco-friendly economy and reduce its carbon emissions and per capita ecological footprint.
Truly, the country is going all out to promote an energy-efficient lifestyle. As Suhail bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy, has said, “The main reason for celebrating Earth Hour is to increase awareness about the behaviour and practices that will lead to reducing energy and water consumption and to a better way of life for the whole community.
“The U.A.E. wise leadership attaches great importance to the welfare of the citizens and to the sustainability of the country’s resources, especially in the fields of energy. It is therefore, a duty for every member of the society to realise that reducing energy consumption is a collective responsibility,” he added.