28 March 2012 – An observer from space will keep watch as more than 82 cities and towns including councils across Australia stage Earth Hour events on 31 March, coordinated by the World Wildlife Fund.

Councils across Australia will join private property owners and property managers to turn off non-essential lights for one hour from 8.30 pm on the day.

In Sydney, where Earth Hour began in 2007 before spreading across the world in the largest voluntary action for the environment, a number of community led events will be held, a WWF announcement said. These include candle-lit sustainable dinners at restaurants, acoustic music performances in bars, and a bike ride.

Among specific events will be:

  • The Lord Mayor Clover Moore will attend an awards ceremony at the Sydney Opera House on the night to acknowledge individuals who have made outstanding efforts for a more sustainable future.
  • North Sydney Council coal loader centre for sustainability will host an event featuring a pedal powered cinema, fire twirling, African drumming at sunset and sustainability workshops.  Camden City Council will hold a community event with local artists.
  • In Melbourne events will include candle-lit sustainable dinners at restaurants, and acoustic music performances.
  • Earth Hour Unplugged will include a solar-powered cruise in Newcastle, NSW, an acoustic opera gala in Brisbane and events focusing on green energy and sustainable living.
  • Italy: On the other side of the world, Italian pianist and composer Christian Calcatelli will play an eight-hour live concert over the internet if 5000 people commit to taking up recycling.
  • Global landmarks are signing up to switch off, from the lights of the Las Vegas Strip and Times Square. Earth Hour will also stretch to the Eiffel Tower, cities across China, the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, and in Australia Federation Square, the Sydney Opera House, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge will all stand in darkness for the hour.
  • International Space Station, where astronaut and ambassador Andre Kuipers will keep watch over the planet as the lights switch off, sharing photos and live commentary of his experience via the European Space Agency.

See www.wwf.org.au/Earthhour