Canadians turn out the lights for 'Earth Hour' Staff

Published Saturday, March 25, 2017 8:19AM EDT

Last Updated Saturday, March 25, 2017 11:26PM EDT

Many Canadians took part in the 10th annual Earth Hour Saturday night, by turning out their lights for an hour.

The event started at 8:30 p.m. local time and encouraged people to turn off as much electricity as they could to bring awareness to renewable energy sources that don’t contribute to climate change.

According to Siddarth Das, with World Wildlife Fund that heads Earth Hour, what originally began as a one city event in 2007, taking place in Sydney, Australia, is now celebrated in more than 180 countries across the world.

“I think the Earth Hour mantra was to always put people at the centre of the climate change conversation,” said Das. “People suffer from climate change and people are ultimately going to solve climate change.”

Canadians across the country got a chance to take part in various activities during Earth Hour, including a choir performance by candlelight in Montreal, skating under the stars in Vancouver and a candlelight walk and yoga in Toronto.

“I think we’re starting to see a positive momentum across businesses who are demanding climate action,” said Das. “We’re also starting to see a whole bunch of countries actually putting in climate change policies as well.”

Some of those policies, Das said, include China’s push to invest in renewable energy, India’s pledge for more solar power, Spain’s insistence on fulfilling the commitments in the Paris agreement and the fact that United States had more people in the renewable energy sector than in the fossil fuel industry last year.

Electrical utility companies across Canada have also gotten involved in Earth Hour in years past, tweeting out the usage numbers during the hour. This has prompted some critics to use these figures as a way to measure the success of the event.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, the goal is to raise awareness about climate change rather than reduce power.

With files from The Canadian Press