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85 countries switching off lights for an hour today

india Updated: Mar 28, 2009 01:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Scores of Delhiites have committed to be part of the 1 billion people across 85 countries switching off all the lights at home between 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm on Saturday to save power, cut down on global warming and save the world.

Earth Hour, as the drive is called, has captured the imagination of environmentalists, professionals and even the governments for its sheer simplicity.

If millions of people switch off their lights for an hour, the amount of power saved would be substantial. And since power saved is power not produced, the power plants would need to emit that much less carbon dioxide (emitted during power production) and be a relief-however marginal-to global warming.

Delhi government has asked all its officials to take part in Earth Hour. It will also switch off the lights in all its buildings.

“People in Delhi are simply not attuned to energy conservation habits. So the initiative will drive home the point that our little actions like switching off a light that we do not need can actually make a huge difference globally,” said Environment Secretary J.K. Dadoo.

With request from the department, lights in historical monuments would either be dimmed or switched off during Earth Hour.

The drop in the amount of power consumed during Earth Hour is estimated to be around 190 MW, said North Delhi Power Limited, the Tata-backed power distributor. “We have warned the Northern Grid about a possibly huge drop in power consumption so that they are ready. Because if load falls suddenly, the grid may trip,” said company spokesman Ajey Maharaj.

Started in Sydney two years ago, the event has taken mammoth proportions globally. "We are focusing on the spirit of voluntary activism towards fighting climate change. It is meant to make a strong statement for global leaders towards climate action," said Ravi Singh, head of WWF India, which has brought the campaign here.