On behalf of everyone at WWF, we'd like to say a big, big THANK YOU to all who took part in Earth Hour 2009. Because of you it was the biggest Earth Hour ever. You were joined by millions of others in almost 4000 towns and cities across 88 countries. People who switched off their lights and demonstrated their concern at how our climate is changing. It was an amazing night. We couldn't have done it without you
“Earth Hour 2009 was an incredible success,” said WWF International Director General James Leape. “If you participated in Earth Hour, thank you, your participation made that success possible.
“But whether your participated or not, the work continues, because over the next six months, the leaders of the world will be deciding how they step up to meet this challenge, and we need, together, to make sure they do the right thing.
“Join with us to take the fight from Earth Hour to December when those leaders gather in Copenhagen to agree on a solution to Climate Change. Together, we can make sure this problem is met.”
Brazilian emblem, the 38 meter tall Christ the Redeemer statue on Corcovado mountain overlooking the city of Rio de Janeiro was the most widely known icon to switch from floodlights to no lights for the hour.
Elsewhere, however, WWF-Brazil reported a country “partying in the dark” – more or less what the rest of the world would expect.
In Belém, there was a Boi Bumbá presentation, a popular regional festival. In Brasília, a percussion concert began after the lights went off. In Manaus, Imbaúba Group played acoustic music inspired by the sounds of the Amazon. And in Rio de Janeiro AfroReggae played a concert in which all musicians were covered in phosphorescent body paint.
Some 101 Brazilian cities and towns participated in Earth Hour in addition to 480 community organizations and 1,000 private businesses. Small cities all over the country joined in, WWF-Brazil reported, with Juazeiro do Norte, in Ceará, turning off the lights of Priest Cícero statue, a symbol of the religiosity of the Northeastern population. Ouro Preto, an ancient village in Minas Gerais, turned off the lights of the colonial buildings.
“Brazil is the ninth economy of the world, and plays an important role between developing countries, as a leader at international negotiations on climate changes,” WWF-Brazil’s CEO, Denise Hamú said. “We must set an example for fair and sustainable development.”
Brazil and other Amazon basin countries are looking to the Copenhagen climate conference in December to come up with new measures to avoid deforestation, a major cause of greenhouse gas emissions.
In Colombia, residents of nine cities – including major urban centers such as Bogota, Medellin, and Cartagena – turned their lights off for Earth Hour.
Medellin’s mayor took the opportunity at an unrelated cocktail party to address 1,500 people about Earth landmarks, the Murallas de Cartagena and the San Felipe Fortress.