Remote Pacific island communities turned off the lights on Saturday as they kicked off Earth Hour 2009, a global event to highlight climate change which will see landmarks around the world go dark for an hour.
Among the more than 80 countries taking part this year are newcomers like industrial powerhouse China and Asian industrial hub Singapore.
In the Vatican, the dome of St Peter’s Basilica will go dark, as will Egypt’s Great Pyramids, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and New York’s Empire State Building.
Organisers said the remote Chatham Islands was the first place where supporters turned the lights off for an hour at 8.30 pm local time, followed by New Zealand and Fiji. They were soon to be followed by Australia, where the event started two years ago.