Major organisations and hotels here joined iconic buildings and landmarks worldwide, standing in darkness for an hour for the cause of the planet. Neon-signs, decorative lights and all non-essential electrical equipment was switched off at public places, private firms, banks, coffee shops and hotels marking Earth Hour at 8:30 pm, yesterday.
Earth Hour is an annual international event created by the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and held on the last Saturday of March to raise awareness about the need to take action on climate change. It is a call to stand up, to take responsibility, to get involved and lead the way towards a sustainable future. The idea behind Earth Hour is that it’s a call to action on climate change, with people all around the world standing up and urging to do something about it soon.
The Earth Hour, this year, saw buildings in up to 4,000 cities in more than 120 countries unplug to reduce the energy spending and draw awareness to the people for dangers of climate alter, according to reports.
Some of the key landmarks in Qatar including the Qtel joined in for the cause of earth. Qtel switched off lights at its headquarters in West Bay going dark from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.
“Qtel tower is considered to be a key landmark of Qatar and by including the building it is our jesture to show the world that we are also aware. Though all our branches are partially working, the headquarters alone went to darkness. Our staff worked for one hour under the light of candles during the hour. Qtel’s CSR strategy – “For Qatar, Hand in Hand” – looks to prioritise campaigns, as Earth Hour, that have a lasting impact on the lives of the people of Qatar,” Adel Al Mutawa, Executive Director of Group Communications, Qtel, told The Peninsula.
The British Embassy also joined the global event by turning off all its office lights for one hour. “We were happy to support Earth Hour, not only as an Embassy but as individuals with over 75 percent of the British Embassy team taking part from their homes. We are conscious of the impact we as an Embassy have on the environment and are committed to reducing carbon emissions from our operation in Qatar. We are already recycling Embassy waste where possible in order to reduce our impact on the environment. We will keep looking for opportunities to do more,” said John Hawkins, the British Ambassador to Qatar..
Many hotels and establishments switched off all their lights to join the event, while others switched off the lights in selected areas and functioned under the glow of candle light.
The InterContinental Doha switched off all nonessential lighting and other lighting was dimmed to low level to save energy. Letters were sent to all the hotel guests encouraging them to leave their rooms with the lights off during the hour and to congregate in other areas of the hotel. All lights were switched off for one hour in the employee accommodation and they met in a communal area and mark their support by lighting candles.
At the Four Seasons Hotel the Il Teatro restaurant switched off the lights and candles illuminated a special evening, serving four course dinner featuring healthy dishes described on a menu made of recycled paper.
The entrance, lobby, executive lounge and restaurant gallery of the Marriott saw candles replacing the electrical light creating a warm atmosphere along with its special ‘Earth Hour Candle Light Gourmet Route’ dinner, with all five gallery restaurants banded together creating a feast of senses to its customers. Also other hotels including Mövenpick Hotel, and Holiday Villa Hotel & Residence switched off their joining the mighty cause.
The initiative, which aims to be the largest mass global action on climate change ever, urges residents, businesses, organisations and schools around the world to switch off their lights and unnecessary appliances for one hour. With fuel costs on the increase, the aim of Earth Hour is to raise awareness of how taking simple steps around the home can help reduce energy bills, as well tackling climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
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