Earth Hour light switch-off Saturday, but will Luxembourg City remember?
(ADW/AFP) Lights will go off in some 7,000 cities around the world for this weekend's Earth Hour event on Saturday. Will Luxembourg City remember this time as the planned switch-off at the town hall was forgotten last year.
Organisers WWF have partnered with payments giant PayPal to allow donors to contribute for specific projects in countries from Russia and India to Canada and Indonesia, using Asian fundraising site Crowdonomic.
"We are starting with around 20 projects this year, but our vision is to really expand once Saturday's event has taken place," said Earth Hour chief executive Andy Ridley.
"The projects have been chosen based on their scalability, so even if the target has not been met, a small amount of funds raised will still help implement an outcome on the ground."
Projects under the "Earth Hour Blue" crowdfunding scheme -- which aim to raise more than $650,000 in total -- include a turtle centre in Italy and funding for forest rangers in Indonesia.
Earth Hour will see world landmarks including the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower and the Kremlin switch off their lights for 60 minutes at 8:30 pm local time on Saturday. The event is being marked in more than 150 countries, organisers said.
Will Luxembourg remember this year?
Last year Luxembourg City Council was left a little red-faced when the planned light switch-off at the town hall was completely forgotten! The event passed with no changes as the building remained illuminated as the press and photographers outside were left with nothing to report.
Xavier Bettel, City Mayor at the time stated that the person designated with the task to flick the switch, simply forgot.
The worldwide event is being coordinated from Singapore, with the stars of new movie "Amazing Spider-Man 2" set to help switch off lights on the city-state's skyline in the upmarket Marina Bay district.
Sofiah Jamil, adjunct research associate at Singapore's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, who has been campaigning for environmental causes in Southeast Asia, welcomed the funding initiative.
"At the very basic level, such crowdfunding activities can potentially increase the visibility of Earth Hour and in turn awareness on environmental action," Sofiah stated.
"I think the main way in which this is effective is that it allows a way of involving a wider section of people, who would previously perhaps not be involved, such as those with limited knowledge on how they can contribute and those who want to contribute with ease and convenience," she said.
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