Lights out for Support of Climate Change Solutions

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced the official launch of Earth Hour, a global initiative in which cities and communities will turn out their lights to symbolize their leadership and commitment to finding solutions for climate change.

Cities from across Europe, North America, Asia and Asia Pacific, including Chicago, Copenhagen, Manila, Melbourne, Portland, Sydney, Tel Aviv and Toronto were named the flagship participants in the WWF-led event taking place on March 29, 2008, with more cities expected to join in the days ahead.

"On behalf of the WWF International network, I want to commend and thank the mayors and officials in our flagship cities for playing a leadership role in supporting this unique global event and demonstrating their commitment to fighting climate change," said WWF Director General James Leape.

WWF's inaugural Earth Hour took place in Sydney, Australia, in March this year with more than 2.2 million people participating in an effort that darkened such iconic structures as the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge and resulted in a 10 percent drop in energy usage, double what had been predicted.

"Earth Hour is an opportunity for individuals, governments, businesses and communities around the world to unite for a common purpose, against a common threat that affects us all," said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of WWF-United States. "Think how we spend the more than 8,700 hours that make up a year. Turning off the lights for just one hour shows we can adjust the way we lead our lives; we can make the small sacrifices necessary to stabilize our climate before it?s too late."

For more information about Earth Hour 2008, visit www.earthhour.org.

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