|Representatives participate in a ceremony to kick off the 2014 Earth Hour in Ha Noi on Saturday. This year's campaign saw all 63 provinces and cities nationwide participate to reduce electricity usage. — VNA/VNS Photo The Duyet
HA NOI (VNS) — Viet Nam saved 431,000kWh of electricity, equivalent to VND650 million (US$31,000), by switching off unnecessary lights and electrical equipment during Earth Hour from 8.30pm to 9.30pm on Saturday.
The savings were calculated by the Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN).
Addressing a ceremony in Ha Noi on Saturday, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung said the campaign not only helpes reduce electricity consumption for one day, but also has a spillover effect throughout the entire year.
The event contributed to raising public awareness about using energy in an economical and effective manner, promoting sustainable socio-economic development and coping with climate change, Hung added.
Danish Ambassador John Nielsen, who is also Ambassador of the 2014 Earth Hour campaign, said that protecting the Earth, which is the responsibility of everyone, should start from daily changes in life to build a sustainable future.
The campaign has also seen 3,000 volunteers join a "riding for the environment" programme along streets in Ha Noi and central Da Nang city. As many as 5,000 restaurants and coffee shops pledged to donate to the campaign and offer discounts to riders.
This year's campaign saw all 63 provinces and cities nationwide participating in reducing electricity use.
In Ha Noi, lights were turned off at famous sites, such as the Ha Noi Opera House, Ngoc Son Temple, Truc Bach Lake and areas surrounding Hoan Kiem Lake.
Meanwhile, in central Quang Nam Province, thousands of local residents and tourists came together at Song Hoa Square and An Hoi Sculpture Garden in Hoi An City to light up the areas with lanterns, as well as sing and dance together in response to the campaign. All restaurants in the ancient city turned their lights off at 8.30pm and lit candles or oil lamps for diners.
Also, major streets and all billboards along the Han riverside in central Da Nang City turned off their lights.
As many as 5,000 young people gathered at Youth Cultural House in HCM City to perform a "Green dance step" flash mob as part of the campaign on Saturday.
The Central Highland province of Kon Tum also called upon local people to economise on electricity, setting a target of saving 40,000 kWh of electricity during the campaign and 3 million kWh during the dry season.
Earth Hour was first organised by the World Wild Fund for Nature in Australia in 2007 for action to prevent climate change, and has since grown to become the world's largest voluntary action for the planet, uniting organisations and individuals on seven continents and in more than 7,000 cities.
Earth Hour was first held in Viet Nam in 2009. It saved 401,000kWh of electricity last year, equivalent to VND576 million ($27,000). — VNS