Throughout the Czech Republic, 145 municipalities, 108 organizations, and thousands of individuals participated in the event by switching off the lights of landmarks, streets, and homes. From Karlovy Vary to Ostrava, Czech cities took part in the environmental awareness-raising initiative. Image Credit: Hodinazeme.cz (Cropped).
Czech Rep., Mar 31 (BD) – Earth Hour was initiated by the World Wide Fund for Nature and partners in Sydney in 2007 as a symbolic lights-out event, and is now one of the world’s biggest global events for the environment, taking place every year on the last Saturday of March. Since 2010, it has also been marked in the Czech Republic. Earth Hour 2021 took place on Saturday, March 27th, from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Špilberk Castle, the New Town Hall on Dominikánské Náměstí, and the obelisk in Denisovy Sady were some of the Brno landmarks joining the environmental public awareness event. Across the Czech Republic, 145 municipalities, 108 organizations, and thousands of individuals participated in the event, as the initiative received immense media coverage. The event made an impact internationally, as landmarks switching off their lights in 2021 included the Colosseum in Rome, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and St. Petersburg in Russia.
The event was coordinated in the Czech Republic by the Veronica Ecological Institute. The 145 participating municipalities included a record 17 cities. In villages, public street lighting was switched off. Larger cities participated in the initiative by turning the lights out on monuments and other landmarks. In Prague, a total of 50 important landmarks joined the environmental awareness movement, such as Charles Bridge, Petrin Tower, the National Theater, and the Old Town Hall. In Ostrava, the Town Hall Tower lights were shut off, while in Plzen the lights were turned off at the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew, the tallest church tower in the Czech Republic. In Pardubice, the main street of the city and the castle were blacked out.
Many Czech cities and municipalities have set concrete targets for the protection of the climate. Prague has set a goal to go carbon-free by 2050, while Brno is committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030. Karlovy Vary and Jihlava are some of the other Czech cities aiming to create energy-saving strategies for city management. Climate commitments have also been made by Czech organizations and companies, such as Škoda Auto, joining the event for the 9th year in a row. “With this event, the Czech carmaker wants to symbolically draw attention to its efforts to protect the environment and climate and aims to reduce all production-related environmental impacts by 52.5 percent by 2025, compared to 2010,” said the company.