(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Many of the Kingdom's shopping malls, hotels and restaurants, as well as private homes, will switch off their lights on Saturday for 60 minutes to mark Earth Hour, a global call to cut down on energy use and combat global warming.
Commercial establishments and homes participating in the event will go dark from 8:30pm-9:30pm, according to Alaa Jallad, general manager of Students for Green, the organiser of Earth Hour activities in Jordan this year.
"The event seeks to raise public awareness on the need to ration energy consumption, especially in a country that suffers from a shortage of energy resources," Jallad told The Jordan Times yesterday.
Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. The message has grown into a global movement, with more than 50 million people switching off their lights for an hour every year.
Jordan first marked Earth Hour in 2009, when street lights in several of the capital's main streets were turned off, in addition to government agencies, archaeological sites and natures reserves, as well as scores of hotels, restaurants and homes.
More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011, sending a powerful message for action on climate change, according to earthhour.org
Experts believe climate change has caused a 30 per cent reduction in the country's surface water resources, as well as a decrease in the volume of rainfall and agricultural production, both of which Jordan and the Arab world rely on heavily.
Analyses of climate change scenarios during the 21st century indicate that the Kingdom will experience more frequent droughts as a consequence of year-round increases in temperature, which may be as high as 3C in winter and 4.5C in summer by the end of the century. The same climate change simulations show little or no change in precipitation to offset these big increases in temperature, according to the recently released Fourth World Water Development Report.
Jallad said the goal of marking Earth Hour in Jordan is to change people's behaviour and encourage them to adopt environment-friendly practices in their daily life.
"On Saturday, people will wonder why some malls, restaurants or hotels have their lights switched off, and this is what we want: to deliver a message to the public about reducing energy," he noted.
Reduction of electricity use is vital in Jordan, which imports 98 per cent of its energy needs at a cost of nearly one-fourth of the gross domestic product, according to official figures.