For the 10th year, cities around the world from Beijing to Paris turned off the lights on some of their most well-known and widely visited landmarks in honor of Earth Hour. The event—which took place March 25, from 8:30-9:30pm local time—was meant to bring attention to the need for global climate action.
According to the World Wildlife Foundation, the nonprofit that organizes Earth Hour, an unprecedented 187 countries and territories participated in 2017’s version, with more than 3,000 “landmarks” going dark.
Earth Hour is largely symbolic; powering down for 60 minutes doesn’t have much of an impact on energy use. All the same, some countries are reporting energy savings over the weekend. The department of energy in the Philippines, for example, says the event reduced the maximum load through the country’s power grid by 165 megawatts—enough to power about 55,000 homes. In Toronto, Canada, electricity demand dropped 77 megawatts; Dubai reported a savings of 244 megawatts.
Striking before-and-after photos from across the planet show how much we take for granted the energy needed to keep our cities brightly lit.
The Kremlin in Moscow before (top) and during Earth Hour.
The China Central Radio and Television Tower before (top) and during Earth Hour in Beijing.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station in Mumbai, India, before (top) and during Earth Hour.
The financial district in Hong Kong, before (top) and during Earth Hour.
Mexico City’s “Angel de la Independencia” monument before (top) and during Earth Hour.
The Belvedere palace in Vienna, Austria before (top) and during Earth Hour.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, before (top) and during Earth Hour.