Palma.—This will not be the first time the Balearics has backed the campaign and individuals are also encouraged to take part and do their bit to help fight climate change by turning their lights off for an hour between 8.30pm and 9.30pm local time. Earth Hour originated in Sydney in 2007 with an appeal to people and businesses to turn off their lights for an hour to heighten awareness about climate change, driven by carbon-emitting fossil fuels.

The annual switch-off is now being followed in locations in three-quarters of the world's nations and has the potential to touch hundreds of millions of lives, say its organisers.

Promoted through social media, Earth Hour has also mutated in some countries into a potent tool to lobby on local issues unconnected with global warming, they add.

Switch-off events tonight are planned in more than 150 countries, including for the first time the Palestinian territories, Tunisia, Galapagos, Suriname, French Guiana, St. Helena and Rwanda.

Newcomers to the campaign include Copenhagen's Little Mermaid, the Statue of David in Florence and Cape Town's Table Mountain, which in 2011 joined a list of the “New Seven Wonders of Nature”. “Last year, Earth Hour was followed in 7'000 communities, an increase of about 30 per cent over 2011,” said Andy Ridley, co-founder of the project launched by WWF. “The biggest area of growth has been the Asia-Pacific, the economic engine of the planet, where wherever you go now, people are living with the problems of environmental damage,” Ridley said.