The ongoing pandemic has turned Earth Hour 2020 into a quiet affair, but that silence and reduced activity may well be what the planet needs to recover.
Australia’s lockdown restrictions have resulted in many Earth Hour events being cancelled to prioritise community safety. However, landmarks around the country including the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Luna Park in Melbourne, Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, The Wheel of Brisbane and The Bell Tower in Perth will still be switching off their lights.
Meanwhile, local organisers are going digital with a livestream concert for Saturday, featuring Australian artists, including live crosses to lights out from around the country.
Dermot O’Gorman, CEO of WWF-Australia, said: “(Connecting) as a community and looking for positive ways we can contribute is more important than ever as the world responds to the coronavirus crisis.”
Earth Hour is a movement by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
“The act of switching off our lights for Earth Hour has always been a show of solidarity for stronger action on climate change and a chance for millions of people worldwide to collectively raise their voice for nature. This year will be dramatically different as we all strive to control the spread of Covid-19,” he added. – Adelaine Ng
Earth Hour celebrations in Cambodia are being kept to a minimum as the tourism industry has turned its attention on dealing with the coronavirus crisis.
Charles-Henri Chevet, area general manager of Accor Cambodia and Phokeethra hotels, said: “Due to the current situation, we will not carry out any activities this year, especially to prevent any gathering.”
As activity across the portfolio has already slowed, energy-saving measures are in place.
Khiri Cambodia will be marking the occasion on Friday with all electricity turned off between 09.00 and 10.00, said general manager Vidya Lo.
Asian Trails Cambodia has been encouraging staff to reduce electricity usage this week. Staff and partners are encouraged to switch off lights for an hour on Saturday from 20.30.
Himawari Hotel Apartments in Phnom Penh will also be switching off all non-essential lights for two hours on Saturday, from 20.30. – Marissa Carruthers
With reduced occupancies and advisories against gatherings of people, hotels in Indonesia are cutting back on their Earth Hour programmes.
The Sheraton Surabaya and Four Points Surabaya complex will simply be turning off lights in public spaces during Earth Hour on March 28.
Vanjou Hannes, spokesperson of éL Hotel Royale Bandung, remarked: “We have no programmes for Earth Hour this year. Even without having it, the hotel has been switching (unnecessary) lights off to conserve energy since occupancy is low.”
Artotel Group, however, will press on with its annual 60+60 Let Thomas Rest Longer programme, albeit in a toned down manner.
Andri Meilani Kusim, spokesperson of Artotel Group, said: “We usually have a 120-minute light down with Live Glow in the Dark painting exhibition and F&B promotions in our properties. This year, we will take our Earth Hour campaign online.”
The hotel group has created a video and blog on in its website, where CEO Erastus Radjimin will invite viewers to participate in Earth Hour activities.
This is in line with the official Earth Hour 2020 programmes, which will be held digitally in view of the health crisis. – Mimi Hudoyo
Earth Hour activities across Japan have either been scaled back or cancelled to help halt the spread of Covid-19.
In metropolitan areas, efforts are focused on turning off attraction lights rather than holding events, which were common in past years. Tokyo Bay, which offers one of the city’s most popular night views, will go dark as the Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway down the lights of its three main bridges – Rainbow, Yokohama Bay and Tsurumi Tsubasa.
Yokohama Minato Mirai 21, the sightseeing hub around Yokohama harbour, will also turn off its lights.
Tokyo’s most iconic landmark and the world’s tallest tower, SkyTree, is to go dark, both inside and out. During Earth Hour, visitors can explore the attraction, but the observatory will remain closed.
A spokesperson for WWF Japan, the organisation leading Earth Hour in Japan, told TTG Asia that a ceremony and pop-up-shop at SkyTree have since been abandoned due to infection concerns.
Hotels in Japan, meanwhile, are offering special activities for guests. In Hokkaido, Rusutsu Resort will participate by putting out all lights at the entrances and in lobbies and restaurants, and replacing them with candles. Art with an Earth theme will be displayed in the lobby. Guests who dim their room lights can enjoy a choice of two free blue and green cocktails made specially for the event. Guests can also write wishes in candle-lit lanterns and launch them into the night sky. – Kathryn Wortley
While navigating the Singapore government’s latest restrictions on gatherings and events, hotels and attractions in the country have chosen to participate in Earth Hour in various meaningful ways that are in line with the campaign’s call for widespread lights out as a show of support for the planet.
Grand Park City Hall will dim the lights in its hotel lobby and restaurant Tablescape, and tea light candles will be lit on the dining tables instead. The restaurant will also offer complimentary mocktails to all diners during this hour.
Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel will dim or completely switch off selected decorative and non-essential lights on the hotel’s façade, at Crossroads and in Marriott Café. The temperature of air-conditioning units in common areas will be increased by one degree Celsius, and a new Earth Hour-inspired cocktail, Orchard Hour, will be sold at Crossroads from 11.00 to 00.00 the next day.
Popular attraction Gardens by the Bay will also be showing its support for Earth Hour by turning off the lights on its Supertrees and other non-essential parts of the park.
Elsewhere, National Gallery Singapore will turn off its façade lights and dim selected indoor lights to 25 per cent. – Pamela Chow
Earth Hour is taking its activities online this year, with live streams planned for various regions including Asia and Australia.