Participants around candles and lanterns during the Earth Hour 2013 Earth Hour Walk celebration at the Burj Plaza in March. Jaime Puebla / The National
Participants around candles and lanterns during the Earth Hour 2013 Earth Hour Walk celebration at the Burj Plaza in March. Jaime Puebla / The National

Earth Hour co-founder tells of early fears ahead of UAE talk



Andy Ridley, the co-founder of Earth Hour, remembers being “the most nervous person on the planet” on March 31, 2007.

That was the date the environmental campaign he and his colleagues had spent years developing was about to be tested.

Their idea was to ask Sydney residents to switch off non-essential lights for an hour, and the measure of success would be if darkness descended on the city.

“You never know if something is going to work until it happens,” said Mr Ridley, chief executive of Earth Hour. “We still did not know, until the lights went off.”

They need not have worried. More than two million Sydney residents took part and landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House also stayed dark for an hour.

This year, Earth Hour was observed in 7,000 cities and towns in 154 countries.

Mr Ridley reflected on the success of the event, celebrated annually by thousands of people in the UAE, ahead of a talk he will give in Abu Dhabi next month.

With years of experience in running environmental campaigns, he was aware that most ran “more on the idea of fear than hope”, and often had limited audiences.

“We, by default, kept targeting the people who already agreed with us or those who never would agree with us,” Mr Ridley said.

“But we kept omitting the great bulk in the middle, the 60 per cent of people somewhere in the middle.”

Earth Hour was an attempt to engage a mainstream audience on environmental issues.

“Instead of thinking street protest, we were thinking street party,” he said.

“Instead of running on the idea of fear, we ran on the idea of hope. Instead of targeting a government, we tried to capture the voice and the energy of the community.

“At the beginning, one of the things that made it [Earth Hour] successful was that it just allowed the community to come together in a very broad sense.”

The next step for Earth Hour is to encourage people and businesses to take concrete steps towards tackling climate change and living more sustainably, Mr Ridley said.

The movement has already inspired action with “tangible outcomes” from as far afield as China, Uganda and Russia, where environmentalists were able to lobby for changes to marine protection laws.

Mr Ridley is addressing an Abu Dhabi audience on 21 May, joining a line-up of innovators in the environmental field at the TEDxWWF conference.

Speakers will include Andreas Keller, who is working on projects to provide renewable energy to slum dwellers in Africa, and prominent local environmentalists.

TEDxWWF will take place at the Sofitel, Abu Dhabi. Registration is online at www.tedxwwf.com.

The website will stream the event live.

vtodorova@thenational.ae

Indoor Cricket World Cup

Venue Insportz, Dubai, September 16-23

UAE squad Saqib Nazir (captain), Aaqib Malik, Fahad Al Hashmi, Isuru Umesh, Nadir Hussain, Sachin Talwar, Nashwan Nasir, Prashath Kumara, Ramveer Rai, Sameer Nayyak, Umar Shah, Vikrant Shetty

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

 

 

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

Specs

Power train: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and synchronous electric motor
Max power: 800hp
Max torque: 950Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Battery: 25.7kWh lithium-ion
0-100km/h: 3.4sec
0-200km/h: 11.4sec
Top speed: 312km/h
Max electric-only range: 60km (claimed)
On sale: Q3
Price: From Dh1.2m (estimate)

FFP EXPLAINED

What is Financial Fair Play?
Introduced in 2011 by Uefa, European football’s governing body, it demands that clubs live within their means. Chiefly, spend within their income and not make substantial losses.

What the rules dictate? 
The second phase of its implementation limits losses to €30 million (Dh136m) over three seasons. Extra expenditure is permitted for investment in sustainable areas (youth academies, stadium development, etc). Money provided by owners is not viewed as income. Revenue from “related parties” to those owners is assessed by Uefa's “financial control body” to be sure it is a fair value, or in line with market prices.

What are the penalties? 
There are a number of punishments, including fines, a loss of prize money or having to reduce squad size for European competition – as happened to PSG in 2014. There is even the threat of a competition ban, which could in theory lead to PSG’s suspension from the Uefa Champions League.

Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

They do not usually recommend investing in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies due to the risk and volatility associated with them.

“It has produced eye-watering returns for some, whereas others have lost substantially as this has all depended purely on timing and when the buy-in was. If someone still has about 20 to 25 years until retirement, there isn’t any need to take such risks,” Rupert Connor of Abacus Financial Consultant says.

He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

SCHEDULE

December 8: UAE v USA (Sharjah Cricket Stadium)

December 9: USA v Scotland (Sharjah Cricket Stadium)

December 11: UAE v Scotland (Sharjah Cricket Stadium)

December 12: UAE v USA (ICC Academy Oval 1)

December 14: USA v Scotland (ICC Academy Oval 1)

December 15: UAE v Scotland (ICC Academy Oval 1)

All matches start at 10am

 

'Panga'

Directed by Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari

Starring Kangana Ranaut, Richa Chadha, Jassie Gill, Yagya Bhasin, Neena Gupta

Rating: 3.5/5

The rules of the road keeping cyclists safe

Cyclists must wear a helmet, arm and knee pads

Have a white front-light and a back red-light on their bike

They must place a number plate with reflective light to the back of the bike to alert road-users

Avoid carrying weights that could cause the bike to lose balance

They must cycle on designated lanes and areas and ride safe on pavements to avoid bumping into pedestrians

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

The specs

Engine: 3.8-litre, twin-turbo V8

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 582bhp

Torque: 730Nm

Price: Dh649,000

On sale: now 

MEDIEVIL (1998)

Developer: SCE Studio Cambridge
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Console: PlayStation, PlayStation 4 and 5
Rating: 3.5/5

Persuasion

Director: Carrie Cracknell 

Stars: Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis, Richard E Grant, Henry Golding and Nikki Amuka-Bird

Rating: 1.5/5

Company profile

Name: Tabby
Founded: August 2019; platform went live in February 2020
Founder/CEO: Hosam Arab, co-founder: Daniil Barkalov
Based: Dubai, UAE
Sector: Payments
Size: 40-50 employees
Stage: Series A
Investors: Arbor Ventures, Mubadala Capital, Wamda Capital, STV, Raed Ventures, Global Founders Capital, JIMCO, Global Ventures, Venture Souq, Outliers VC, MSA Capital, HOF and AB Accelerator.

World Cup final

Who: France v Croatia
When: Sunday, July 15, 7pm (UAE)
TV: Game will be shown live on BeIN Sports for viewers in the Mena region

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Defending champions

World Series: South Africa
Women’s World Series: Australia
Gulf Men’s League: Dubai Exiles
Gulf Men’s Social: Mediclinic Barrelhouse Warriors
Gulf Vets: Jebel Ali Dragons Veterans
Gulf Women: Dubai Sports City Eagles
Gulf Under 19: British School Al Khubairat
Gulf Under 19 Girls: Dubai Exiles
UAE National Schools: Al Safa School
International Invitational: Speranza 22
International Vets: Joining Jack


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