Zapopan, Jalisco – On March 19, 236 emblematic buildings in Zapopan and Guadalajara, Jalisco, will simultaneously turn their lights off between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. in observance of Earth Hour.
Alfredo Martín, director of the environment for Zapopan, said that with the slogan “light up the face of biodiversity,” these municipalities will unite to fight environmental degradation and raise awareness about responsible energy use.
He said that as environmental issues are very important to both cities’ governments, “it makes sense to carry out sustainability actions through metropolitan coordination.”
In Zapopan, lights will be turned off at the emblematic National Palace, the Basílica de Zapopan, the Monumento de Las Águilas, the Plaza de los Caudillos and the Glorieta Chapalita, among others.
He added that this initiative is not isolated, as the government of Zapopan has generated a strategy to combat climate change. “We have a plan for municipal climate action. This activity is part of a broad plan for environmental protection,” he said.
Noting that 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from the energy sector, especially transportation, Zapopan is investing in motorless transportation by building bicycle routes, in addition to protecting and conserving natural areas.
Meanwhile, Martín’s counterpart in Guadalajara, Juan Luis Sube, said that last year in Jalisco’s capital, lights were turned off in 120 public buildings, four businesses, three universities, various private homes and two high schools, lowering energy consumption by 4,260 kilowatts for an hour.
Sube stated that the main goal of Earth Hour is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but that “it is also an important tool for raising awareness about responsible energy consumption.”
In Guadalajara, lights will be turned off at the Rotonda de los Jalisciences Ilustres, Presidencia Municipal, Plaza Fundadores, Plaza Guadalajara, Panteón de Belén, Jardín Expiatorio, Glorieta Minerva, Jardín Aránzazu, Plaza de la Liberación and Plaza Santuario.
To protect public safety during Earth Hour, police in both municipalities will perform extra patrols to reinforce security in public buildings, sports buildings and other spaces.
Earth hour is an initiative proposed at the international level by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and is observed every year in March with a voluntary shutdown of lights and electricity, with the goal of raising awareness about the environment.
In the world, 152 countries, five continents, more than 500 cities and 250 companies participate.
Earth Hour was founded in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, when more than two million people participated. Mexico participated for the first time in 2008, including the cities of Guadalajara and Toluca.