Eiffel Tower goes dark for Earth Hour

The lights of the Eiffel Tower in Paris are switched off. (AFP pic)

PARIS: The Eiffel Tower was plunged into darkness late on Saturday as the city of Paris switched off the lights on its best-known tourist attraction to mark this year’s Earth Hour.

The global event, organised by environmental group WWF to push for action on climate change and other man-made threats to the planet, sees nearly 200 major landmarks around the world unplugged at 8.30 pm local time for its 13th annual edition.

They include New York’s Empire State Building, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil and the Sydney Opera House.

Ahead of the Eiffel Tower shutdown, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and junior environment minister Brune Poirson appeared at the foot of the 130-year-old edifice for a public discussion on global warming and declining biodiversity.

The annual Earth Hour has grown steadily since the first event in 2007 and is now marked in more than 180 countries and territories, according to its organisers.