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Lights go off for Earth Hour, global call on climate…

NEW DELHI (AP) – In Sydney, the Opera House went dark. In New Delhi, the lights were switched off at the city’s great arch. In Kuala Lumpur, darkness fell on the Petronas Towers.

It lasts for just an hour and its power is purely symbolic. But in countries around the world, at 8:30 p.m. local time, people were switching off the lights Saturday for Earth Hour, a global call for international unity on the importance of climate change.

Since beginning in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has spread to more than 180 countries, with tens of millions of people joining in, from turning off the porch lights to letting the Opera House go dark.

COMBINATION PHOTO – In this two photo combination picture, the landmark India Gate monument is seen lit, top, and then the same location in darkness when the lights are turned out for one hour to mark Earth Hour, in New Delhi, India, Saturday, March 24, 2018. Earth Hour was marked worldwide at 8.30 p.m. local time and is a global call to turn off lights for 60 minutes in a bid to highlight the global climate change. (AP Photo/Oinam Anand)

Those 60 minutes are “an opportunity to adopt a shifting of the consumption culture, and behavior change towards sustainability,” Indian Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan said in a statement.

Many people, of course, barely notice. Around India Gate, New Delhi’s monument to the Indian dead in World War I, thousands of people continued Saturday with the city’s nightly warm-weather ritual. They bought ice cream and cheap plastic trinkets. They flirted. Young children rode in electric carts that their parents rented for a few minutes at a stretch.

But for an hour the arch stayed dark, a silent call for change.

COMBINATION PHOTO - In this two photo combination picture, buildings that house India's seat of power are seen lit, top, and then the same location in darkness when the lights are turned out for one hour to mark Earth Hour, in New Delhi, India, Saturday, March 24, 2018. Earth Hour was marked worldwide at 8.30 p.m. local time and is a global call to turn off lights for 60 minutes in a bid to highlight the global climate change. (AP Photo/Oinam Anand)

COMBINATION PHOTO – In this two photo combination picture, buildings that house India’s seat of power are seen lit, top, and then the same location in darkness when the lights are turned out for one hour to mark Earth Hour, in New Delhi, India, Saturday, March 24, 2018. Earth Hour was marked worldwide at 8.30 p.m. local time and is a global call to turn off lights for 60 minutes in a bid to highlight the global climate change. (AP Photo/Oinam Anand)

COMBINATION PHOTO - In this two photo combination picture, North Block, buildings that house India's seat of power, are seen lit, top, and then the same location in darkness when the lights are turned out for one hour to mark Earth Hour, in New Delhi, India, Saturday, March 24, 2018. Earth Hour was marked worldwide at 8.30 p.m. local time and is a global call to turn off lights for 60 minutes in a bid to highlight the global climate change. (AP Photo/Oinam Anand)

COMBINATION PHOTO – In this two photo combination picture, North Block, buildings that house India’s seat of power, are seen lit, top, and then the same location in darkness when the lights are turned out for one hour to mark Earth Hour, in New Delhi, India, Saturday, March 24, 2018. Earth Hour was marked worldwide at 8.30 p.m. local time and is a global call to turn off lights for 60 minutes in a bid to highlight the global climate change. (AP Photo/Oinam Anand)

The globe landmark of the country's largest shopping Mall of Asia turns dark to mark Earth Hour, a global event that raises awareness on the need to take action on climate change Saturday, March 24, 2018 in suburban Pasay city southeast of Manila, Philippines. The annual event urges people all over the world to switch off the lights in their homes and workplaces for at least an hour. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

The globe landmark of the country’s largest shopping Mall of Asia turns dark to mark Earth Hour, a global event that raises awareness on the need to take action on climate change Saturday, March 24, 2018 in suburban Pasay city southeast of Manila, Philippines. The annual event urges people all over the world to switch off the lights in their homes and workplaces for at least an hour. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Filipinos gather at the Cultural Center of the Philippines to take part in an Earth Hour activity, a global even that raises awareness on the need to take action on climate change Saturday, March 24, 2018 in suburban Pasay city southeast of Manila, Philippines. The annual event urges people all over the world to switch off the lights in their homes and workplaces for at least an hour. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Filipinos gather at the Cultural Center of the Philippines to take part in an Earth Hour activity, a global even that raises awareness on the need to take action on climate change Saturday, March 24, 2018 in suburban Pasay city southeast of Manila, Philippines. The annual event urges people all over the world to switch off the lights in their homes and workplaces for at least an hour. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Filipino boy scouts use the light of their cellphones as they observe Earth Hour, a global event that raises awareness on the need to take action on climate change Saturday, March 24, 2018 in suburban Pasay city southeast of Manila, Philippines. The annual event urges people all over the world to switch off the lights in their homes and workplaces for at least an hour. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Filipino boy scouts use the light of their cellphones as they observe Earth Hour, a global event that raises awareness on the need to take action on climate change Saturday, March 24, 2018 in suburban Pasay city southeast of Manila, Philippines. The annual event urges people all over the world to switch off the lights in their homes and workplaces for at least an hour. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

A Filipino girl plays with a light toy in observance of Earth Hour, a global event that raises awareness on the need to take action on climate change Saturday, March 24, 2018 in suburban Pasay city southeast of Manila, Philippines. The annual event urges people all over the world to switch off the lights in their homes and workplaces for at least an hour. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

A Filipino girl plays with a light toy in observance of Earth Hour, a global event that raises awareness on the need to take action on climate change Saturday, March 24, 2018 in suburban Pasay city southeast of Manila, Philippines. The annual event urges people all over the world to switch off the lights in their homes and workplaces for at least an hour. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

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