Residents in Jakarta and 26 other cities across the country will turn off their lights for an hour this Saturday as part of Earth Hour, a global campaign to save energy, fight global warming and dampen the effects of climate change.
Indonesian cities have taken part in the environmental movement since 2009, and this year they will join about 1.8 billion people in 135 countries in going dark from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo urged on Sunday all residents in the capital to participate.
“I’m very proud that more and more people in Jakarta and other cities are joining the world’s biggest environmental campaign,” the governor said in a press statement.
The city administration plans to switch off road lights along main streets in the five municipalities, including at the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle, Jalan M.H. Thamrin, Jalan Sudirman, Jalan Jenderal Gatot Subroto and Jalan Rasuna Said.
The administration will also turn off lights at city-owned facilities, and it has issued letter urging owners and operators of buildings along those main roads to participate.
Companies including Central Park Mall, Garuda Indonesia, Metro TV, Sharp Electronics Indonesia, the Body Shop and Carrefour have committed to the campaign. They have pledged to turn off lights in many of their office buildings and have asked their employees, clients, partners and customers to follow suit.
Efransjah, the chief executive of environmental group WWF Indonesia, said Jakarta should help lead the campaign because of its size and high energy consumption.
“Earth Hour is the right time to remind people of [the danger] of carbon emissions produced by fossil fuels and its contribution to climate change,” he said.
He said lifestyle changes for residents in major cities could have a significant impact on efforts to reduce carbon emissions and energy use.
Yogyakarta is among the cities participating in Earth Hour this year. The city’s governor, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, joined the campaign by announcing that he would turn off lights in the palace and other province-owned buildings, as well as street lights.
“I would like to remind you that the success of Earth Hour is not measured by the [energy] savings made during the one-hour campaign, but by encouraging people to save energy as part of a daily lifestyle,” he said in Yogyakarta on Sunday.