WASHINGTON—February 4, 2009—With less than eight weeks before the lights go out for Earth Hour 2009, WWF officials confirmed today that 377 cities around the world will take part in the global event, which seeks to ignite a new call for action on climate change in the U.S. and around the world. WWF also announced that famed Obama-portrait artist Shepard Fairey has created a “Vote Earth” poster urging people to turn off their lights during Earth Hour, which takes place March 28, 2009, at 8:30 pm.
Other high-profile ambassadors across the world lending support to the Earth Hour climate campaign include Nobel Peace Prize recipient Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Academy Award-winning actress Cate Blanchett.
Fairey’s poster asks people to “Vote Earth. Your Light Switch is Your Vote” in keeping with the message of Earth Hour, which provides a way for individuals, businesses and organizations to express their concern for climate change and call for action from their elected leaders.
WWF is making the limited edition poster available online through social networking sites including Facebook, MySpace and Flickr, as well as on the official U.S. Web site at EarthHourUS.org. Visitors to the site can register and pledge to support Earth Hour, as well as write their Congressional leaders asking for action on climate change legislation this year.
“Earth Hour 2009 is an event in which actions really do speak louder than words,” said Richard Moss, Ph.D., WWF’s vice president of climate change. “The impacts of climate change are already upon us and they are only getting worse. To protect our planet from a climate catastrophe, our leaders must begin taking immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at home and abroad. At this critical moment in time, it is more important than ever that we all follow Fairey’s call to action and vote with our light switches.”
This is a critical year for action on climate change, with the world’s leaders due to meet at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December to negotiate a global climate agreement.
In the U.S., Atlanta, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville and San Francisco are among the cities in some 74 countries participating in Earth Hour 2009—more than double the number of countries that took part in 2008.
At a press conference held in Chicago yesterday, Mayor Richard M. Daley pledged his city would once again support Earth Hour and its goal of spurring elected leaders to take action. In 2008, more than 2.7 million people in the Chicago region—and an estimated 50 million people worldwide—turned off their lights during Earth Hour.
Other Earth Hour 2009 cities include London, Beijing, Brussels, Rome, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Dubai, Singapore, Athens, Buenos Aires, Toronto, Sydney, Mexico City, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Manila, Brussels, Cape Town and Helsinki. Lights are slated to go out on some of the most recognized landmarks on the planet, including the Las Vegas Strip, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.
About Earth Hour
Earth Hour is a global WWF climate change initiative. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 28, 2009 at 8:30 PM to show their support for action on climate change. The event began in Sydney in 2007, when 2 million people switched off their lights. In 2008, more than 50 million people around the globe participated. National partners for WWF’s Earth Hour are Esurance, Wells Fargo and Cox Conserves.