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The lights were low at the Finnish National Opera. Picture: Henrik Kettunen

On Saturday evening, Earth Hour was once again celebrated across the globe. From New York to New Zealand, Paris to Paraguay and from Hanoi to Helsinki – millions of people came together and turned off the lights for an hour to shine a light on climate action.

An unprecedented 187 countries and territories took part, over than 3,000 landmarks switched off their lights as individuals, businesses and organizations across seven continents stepped forward to change climate change.

The lights were turned off at the tower of the Helsinki Railway Station. Picture: Ruut Luukkonen

In Helsinki, landmarks such as the Finnish National Opera, the Finnish National Theatre, and Helsinki Railway Station all turned off the unnecessary lights. In total, about 70 schools, over 200 companies and communities joined the campaign – a total of events related to Earth Hour culminated to about 450 in Finland.

The theme of the year in Finland was to participate in the biggest candle light dinner in the world to create a conversation about ecologically responsible food. People were encouraged to eat climate-friendly food in a candle-lit atmosphere.

This year’s event marked the tenth anniversary of the WWF’s Earth Hour movement, which started as a one-city event in Sydney in 2007 and comes at a time when the need for climate action is greater than ever.

The unnecessary lamps were shut off at the Finnish National Theatre. Picture: Ruut Luukkonen

2016 was the hottest year on record and ambitious action is needed by governments, companies and people, their biggest stakeholders, to meet the targets set in the landmark Paris Agreement that entered into force in November last year.

“Once again, the people have spoken through Earth Hour,” Sid Das, the executive director at Earth Hour Global, said in a bulletin. “Whether you are in the Philippines, Peru or Portugal, climate change matters and the record participation in this year’s Earth Hour is a powerful reminder that people, who are on the frontline of climate change, want to be a part of climate action.”

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