TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 03/24/13 -- WWF's Earth Hour has just concluded another record sweep around our planet from Samoa on one side of the International Date Line to the Cook Islands on the other, with hundreds of millions again uniting to send a clear message - we are determined to create a sustainable future for our planet.
The event was observed in more than 7000 cities, towns and municipalities in more than 150 countries and territories, with many of the world's best known human and natural landmarks going dark as the backdrop to a multitude of "beyond the hour" activities and initiatives generating outcomes for the movement and the planet on which we live.
"What is most important is the ever increasing extent to which Earth Hour's supporters are participating in or taking actions themselves," said Earth Hour CEO and Co-Founder, Andy Ridley.
From Space to Sudan, participants at switch off events were connected along with unknown millions through the power of modern technologies and platforms to unite us in a common purpose.
Canadian Astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield tweeted images from space in celebration of Earth Hour with his unique perspective of seeing cities and natural wonders from above. Russian Cosmonaut Roman Romanenko also sent a video message from space, before one of the most historic moments in the movement's history saw The Kremlin, the official residence of the President, and Red Square plunged into darkness for the first time in celebration of last year's environmental outcome that saw the passing of legislation to protect Russia's seas from oil pollution.
"The first time I stepped on the board of the International Space Station and saw the Earth from outside, I was amazed by how beautiful and fragile it was. Our planet is the most precious treasure that we have. It is our home and we fully depend on it. And its existence depends on us as well. It depends on our attitude to it and on how we use its resources," said Romanenko from the International Space Station.
For the first time WWF's Earth Hour City Challenge went global and produced 17 finalist cities from six countries. Announced as the first ever Global Earth Hour Capital, Vancouver was recognised unanimously by a jury of experts for its innovative actions on climate change and dedication to create a sustainable, pleasant urban environment for current and future residents. By 2020, Vancouver is aiming for all new buildings to be carbon neutral in their operations; citizens to make over 50% of trips by foot, bicycle or public transport; and the number of green jobs to have doubled.
From villages in India without electricity being lit up with solar energy for the first time, to Libya where participants took part in an 80-kilometre walk from Gharyan to the capital Tripoli to celebrate Earth Hour 2013 at 8:30PM - people from all walks of life, all backgrounds went to amazing lengths to share what the planet means to them and what they are willing to do to protect it.
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