NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Cities around the world turned out the lights Saturday evening to mark the 10th annual Earth Hour, a global movement dedicated to protecting the planet and highlighting the effects of climate change.

As night came on, the lights went out in cities from South Korea to the United States in what the World Wildlife Fund describes as a moment of solidarity for climate action. The group sponsors the event and says people in 178 countries and territories had planned to participate.

PHOTOS: Cities Mark 10th Annual Earth Hour

Lights went out for the hourlong event, from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time, in Beijing, Moscow, Beirut, Cairo, Athens, Rome, and Paris.

The lights atop the Empire State Building in New York were dimmed and some billboards in Times Square also went dark.

The first Earth Hour event was held on March 31, 2007, when the WWF conservation group inspired people in Sydney to turn out the lights for an hour.

Since then, the WWF-organized event has expanded to thousands of cities and towns around the world and has been held every March.

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