UNHQ shuts down for Earth Hour

Mon, 28/03/11

We've just received this image of the United Nations Headquarters in New York, taken on Saturday evening. 

You might be wondering what's going on. Why are all the lights off? Has there been a power cut? Has the UN been shut down? What's happening?

Well there's no need to be alarmed. The darkness was intentional. The lights at the iconic UN building were switched off in celebration of Earth Hour. 

On Friday the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, sent out a message to  to explain why he wanted the  lights switched off. 

"Tomorrow, hundreds of millions of people around the world will observe Earth Hour.  By switching off their lights for 60 minutes at 8.30 p.m. local time, each of these men, women and children will send a powerful message that they want to change what's happening to our world. 

As in previous years, UN communities around the world will take part.  Here in New York, all our buildings will go dark – including our main headquarters which is currently closed for renovation. 

It is more than half a century since our striking monument to world peace and cooperation rose on the East River.  This New York landmark is now receiving a much-needed overhaul.  When completed, the new LEED-certified UN Headquarters will use less energy and water, and create less waste.  It will be an example of modern sustainable architecture at its best.

All over the world individuals, communities, businesses and governments are creating new examples for our common future – new visions for sustainable living and new technologies to realize it.  Tomorrow, let us join together to celebrate this shared quest to protect the planet and ensure human well-being.  Let us use 60 minutes of darkness to help the world see the light."

UNON and ITU also acknowledged Earth Hour by turning off their lights.

We've shown the UN can reduce its energy consumption for an hour. The next step is to reduce consumption over the longer term.

Categories: Energy