On the square in front of the Hanoi Opera House, representatives from the Ministry of Nature Resources and Environment (MoNRE), the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), the Hanoi Municipal People’s Committee and the Danish Embassy in Vietnam pressed the button to turn off the lights to support the campaign.
The young people, wearing Earth Hour 2012 T-shirts with cheerful faces and delighted smiles, sang out ‘The song of Earth’ while carrying candles in their hands.
Nguyen Trong Duong, a third year student from the Post and Telecommunications (PTIT) Institute of Technology, said this is the first time he has joined such a campaign and he is very happy to join hands in the activity.
Nguyen Thuy Duong, another third year student from the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV), said Earth Hour is a meaningful campaign--not only the young people, but also for all the Vietnamese people, as it shows Vietnam’s international integration to contribute to protecting the global environment.
MoIT Deputy Minister Hoang Quoc Vuong stressed that Earth Hour has become the largest campaign ever, attracting participation in most countries and continents around the globe. It focuses on every single individual in the community and turns great commitments into practical action which can be implemented immediately and daily.
Meanwhile, a large number of young people gathered at the HCM City Youth Culture House to participate in games and exhibition stands on recycled products before the event started.
At 20h30, at the countdown of the participants, all the electric equipment around the building was switched off. The electricity in many other places, including the city’s Municipal People’s Committee Building, the Municipal Theater, Museum, Thu Thiem Bridge, Phu My Bridge and a number of restaurants, hotels and residential quarters, was also cut for one hour.
During the hour, the young people shouted the Earth Hour slogan, sang songs about environmental protection and According to the National Load Dispatch Centre (NLDC), during 60 minute turning off the lights for Earth Hour 2012 from 20h30-21h30 on March 31, the country saved 546,000 kWh of electrical energy.
This year, Earth Hour volunteers used solar energy lamps to light up the stage instead of candles. The stage was also made from environmentally friendly materials.
According to the organizing board, more than 15,000 individuals and units in the city registered to take part in the event.
Nguyen Khanh Toan, Head of the Coordinating Group of 350.org in Ho Chi Minh City, said this year’s Earth Hour Campaign is totally different from the previous ones in the way that it introduces many solutions involving renewable energy and sustainable materials to millions of city dwellers. Earth Hour helps Vietnam save 546,000 kWh
Vietnam saved 546,000 kWh of electricity, equivalent to VND712 million (US$34,000) by switching off lights during Earth Hour from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm on March 31, according to the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN).
This year’s campaign to promote energy-saving and sustainable development was joined by 48 provinces and cities nationwide.
In Hanoi, the center of Vietnam’s 2012 Earth Hour campaign, lights were turned out at major sites, like the Hanoi Opera House and areas surrounding Hoan Kiem Lake.
At a ceremony to kick off the campaign, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Hoang Quoc Vuong called on every individual to translate commitments to protecting the global environment and using energy in an efficient and sustainable manner into specific deeds and daily actions.
Nguyen Van Suu, Deputy Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, pledged the capital’s authorities and people will take practical actions to save power during the whole year, mentioning turning off unnecessary lights, encouraging green means of transport, increasing tree-growing coverage and effectively using water resources.
The Northern Electricity Corporation, an EVN affiliate, pledged to provide energy-efficient lighting equipment for 250 classrooms in the northern mountainous provinces of Son La, Dien Bien, Lai Chau, Ha Giang and Lao Cai.
In response to the campaign, Hoi An ancient city in the central province of Quang Nam turned to the glistening lights of candles and lanterns.
Earlier, local people and visitors joined hands in cleaning and collecting rubbish along the An Ban and Cua Dai beaches and in the ancient quarter and planting trees as a way to declare their commitment to protect the environment.
This is the fourth time Hoi An has taken part in the Earth Hour campaign.
Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh City became sparkling in the lights of candles and solar energy and energy-saving lighting systems well prepared earlier.
Sponsored by the World Wide Fund for Nature and first implemented in 2007 in Australia, the event aims to raise people’s awareness of saving power and using power more efficiently to reduce the negative impacts of climate change.
Earth Hour was first organized in Vietnam in 2009.
Last year, 400,000 kWh of electricity was saved during Earth Hour. The Earth Hour in HCM City:
At 6pm, thousands of young people gathered at the HCM City Youth Culture House
to prepare for the Eath Hour.
The event attracted more than 4,000 people.
Most of the participants were students.
HCM City's people signed to support the campaign.
At 8.29pm, thousands of people who joined the launching ceremony at the
HCM City Youth Culture House counted down to turn of the light.
Singer Hoang Bach sang on the stage without light.
Thousands of people stood on the 1,000sq.m yard of the HCM City
Youth Culture House without light.
The building of the HCM City People's Committee on the Earth Hour.
A hotel in Saigon's center.