- Hundreds of landmarks across more than 180 countries and territories took part in Earth Hour 2019
- The Tsing Ma Bridge, IFC, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Government House and the Legislative Council complexall took part in this iconic lights-out event
- “The Symphony of Lights” in Victoria Harbour was suspended
Earth Hour, the world’s largest collective environmental movement, has united millions of people across 180 countries to turn their attention towards preserving the earth’s natural resources and promoting the use of renewable energy. This year’s theme is “Reduce, Rethink, Change the Way We Live” and focuses on eliminating unnecessary single-use plastics, sustainable consumption, and a reduction in our ecological footprint.
The lead-up to Earth Hour included awareness-raising activities for students, the public and the business sector. WWF’s One Planet ambassadors took part in a tram parade while at the Earth Hour Village at Tsim Sha Tsui, educational games, VR booth and film screening raised public awareness of the urgent need to preserve the earth’s biodiversity and safeguard Hong Kong’s remaining ecologically important areas and species from development pressures.
The Earth Hour 2019 countdown, held at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui Piazza, was officiated by Mr Wong Kam-sing, GBS, JP, Secretary for the Environment of the Hong Kong S.A.R.; Mr Liu Zhi Ming, Deputy Inspector of the Department of Educational, Scientific and Technological Affairs, Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong S.A.R.; Mr Wang Tianyi, CEO of China Everbright International Limited; Mr Shun Chi-ming, JP, Director of the Hong Kong Observatory; Mr Edward M. HO, Chairman of Board of WWF-Hong Kong; Mr Peter Cornthwaite, CEO of WWF-Hong Kong; along with our Earth Hour 2019 ambassadors, Ms Kay Tse and Mr Michael Tong.
Mr Wong Kam-sing, GBS, JP, Secretary for the Environment, said, “To tackle climate change, we must support low-carbon transformation in Hong Kong. Pursuant to the Paris Agreement, the government has set out a carbon emission target by 2030 and invited the Council for Sustainable Development (SDC) to conduct a public engagement exercise to develop a long-term carbon reduction target by 2050. Low-carbon transformation requires united support from government, various stakeholders, and the public, including by reducing energy use and waste in our daily life. The Environmental Bureau launched the ‘Low Carbon Living Calculator’ to help citizens assess their carbon emission related to clothing, food, living and travel, sharing tips on how to reduce carbon emissions. Let’s change the way we live. Reduce! Rethink! Mitigate climate change together.”
Mr Wang Tianyi, CEO of China Everbright International Limited, Earth Hour’s lead sponsor for six consecutive years, declared that, “As a world-renowned ecological and environmental enterprise, Everbright International is committed to its corporate mission of being ‘Devoted to Ecology and the Environment for a Beautiful China’ and its aspiration to ‘Create Better Investment Value and Undertake More Social Responsibility’. It has been taking action to contribute to environmental protection. The Group is committed to its environmental and social responsibilities for many years through advanced and efficient facilities and management. So far, it has converted approximately 70 million tonnes of waste into 29 billion kWh of electricity, which can satisfy the electricity consumption needs of 24 million families, changing decayed for magical. In addition, the Group treats nearly 5 million m3 of waste water on a daily basis, draining away contaminants and bringing in clean water.”
Mr Edward M. Ho,Chairman of Board of WWF-Hong Kong, said, ‘Hong Kong community has become more environmentally conscious in recent years, an example is that some restaurants have stopped providing single-use plastic tableware. However, there is still room for improvement. There are not enough sustainable alternatives in the market so many caterers and consumers still find it inconvenient to make behavioural change. WWF-Hong Kong calls on the government to regulate single-use plastics in the F&B industry, by setting a timeline for phasing out all single-use plastic tableware from 2021 and banning polystyrene in 2022.’
An array of landmarks and iconic buildings also turned their lights off to support Earth Hour, including the Tsing Ma Bridge, International Finance Centre, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, International Commerce Centre, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, the Hong Kong Observation Wheel, Government House, the Chief Executive’s office and the Legislative Council complex. The daily harbour front light show “The Symphony of Lights” was also suspended for Earth Hour.