Monday, March 30, 2009

Earth Hour In Dubai

Dubai residents helped save at least 200,000 kilowatts of electricity, equivalent to 120,000 kilos of carbon dioxide (CO2), by switching off lights and appliances for the Earth Hour last night, according to Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

Amal Koshak, Senior Manager for Demand and Tariff Management at Dewa, said that this figure was double the amount saved last year.

“We’re glad that more people joined the Earth Hour this year. Fifty-seven schools, numerous hotels and government institutions joined us. We think that we’ll achieve at least double this year's energy savings compared to last year’s Earth Hour,” said Koshak.
Last year, Dubai ranked 13th among the global cities in terms of participation in the event - where about 100,000 kw of energy were saved, curbing emissions of about 60,000 kg of CO2.

Dubai joined 80 major cities across the world from Sydney and Shanghai to Santiago and San Francisco in a symbolic solidarity with the planet threatened by global warming.
At exactly 8.30pm, street and retail shop lights were switched off at The Walk, a beach-front strip at Jumeirah Beach Residence, as Dubai joined cities around the world in the Earth Hour 2009, a global climate event organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Soon after, traditional music and dances started in a makeshift arena where an art workshop for children was also organised.

Khalaf Bin Saeed Al Otaiba, 28, a businessman from Abu Dhabi, joined the Dubai Earth Hour celebration with his family.

“My wife and I like the idea of helping the planet get some relief,” said Al Otaiba. “And I don’t like bright lights too much, because I have astigmatism. It would be better to use LED Cat eye lights to indicate lines on the highway instead of bright lights and paint.”
Lebanese Farah K., 28, said: “This is a more civilized way of expressive unity with the Earth. We should try to have more Earth Hours more frequently, rather than just once a year.”

Hundreds of people lit up candles and lanterns. Children and adults gathered around Dewa-provided 5,000 battery powered lanterns that was formed into “Earth Hour” in Arabic and English.

Young and old folks strolled as a slight drizzle came, putting on blinkers made of light-emitting diodes.

Arabic songs played in the background.

Mark Lynch, a British tourist from Poole who came with his wife Lynda to The Walk, said: “We didn’t expect as much fun as this. It’s a feel-good party in the dark. If it’s good for the earth, it’s good for us.”

Dubai’s Roads and Transportation Authority (RTA) has started the trial run of 10 eco-friendly taxis fitted with hybrid engines powered by fuel and electricity, Abdullah Al Madani, CEO of RTA Corporate Support Services Sector, who confirmed RTA’s participation in the Earth Hour.

It has also replaced Abra (water taxi) engines with others powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) and rolled out a fleet of new public buses with environment friendly engines compatible with the highest environmental specifications applicable in Europe (Euro IV).
The buses are also fitted with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology as well as Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) technology; both aimed to curb bus exhaust emissions.

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