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In a campaign initiated by World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), more than 1 billion people from over 1,000 cities in 125 countries and territories around the world switched off their lights for one hour between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.

At 8:30 p.m. local time Saturday (0730 GMT), New Zealand became the first of 125 countries and territories across the world taking part in the global “lights out” event, setting in motion a 24-hour wave of hope and action on climate change that will sweep the world.

Forty-seven councils, cities and towns across New Zealand, from Queenstown to Whangarei, are switching off. Community events included live concert in Hamilton, open air concerts in Auckland’s Britomart and Wellington’s Civic Square.

In Beijing at 8:30 p.m. local time (1230 GMT), the Forbidden City went dark for the “Earth Hour” for the first time. Joining the ancient royal palace are the modern architectural marvels, the “Bird Nest” and the “Water Cube,” both Olympic venues. It is the second time for the “Bird Nest” to go dark for the Earth Hour.

Hundreds of people held out glowing sticks to form a head-down arrow and the English letters “CO2,” voicing their call to reduce carbon-dioxide. Xinhua

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