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UN Secretary-General Urges Citizens to Join WWF's Earth Hour

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged citizens around the world to join WWF's Earth Hour to demand action on climate change.

In a video-taped address, the Secretary-General said that Earth Hour – which takes place on Saturday 28th March – promises to be “the largest demonstration of public concern about climate change ever attempted.”

“Earth Hour is a way for the citizens of the world to send a clear message.  They want action on climate change.” said Secretary-General Ban.

Speaking just a week before Earth Hour rolls out across thousands of towns and cities across the globe, Ban underlined the seriousness of climate change and the need for a global climate deal to be agreed when the world's leaders meet in Copenhagen this coming December.

“People will be telling their representatives to seal a deal in Copenhagen.  A deal at the climate change talks that will protect people and the planet. We need an ambitious agreement. An agreement that is fair and effective.  An agreement based on sound science.”

Secretary-General Ban went on to underline the seriousness of climate change and the scale of the task ahead. “We are on a dangerous path.  Our planet is warming.  We must change our ways,” he said. “We need green growth that benefits all communities. We need sustainable energy for a more climate-friendly, prosperous world. This is the path of the future.  We must walk it together.”

WWF's Earth Hour is being hailed as the biggest ever global movement – a vote for the future of planet earth. Hundreds of millions of people are expected to take part by switching off non-essential lighting for an hour. Cities from Las Vegas to Sydney, from Cape Town to Beijing will go dark for an hour.

Ban said that the United Nations would be doing its bit for Earth Hour. “In New York, we will switch out the lights at UN Headquarters. Other UN facilities around the world will also take part.”

And he concluded: “I urge citizens everywhere to join us. Please send a strong message on climate change. Together we can find a solution to this most serious of global challenges.”

National partners for WWF's Earth Hour 2009 are Esurance, Cox Enterprises, The Coca-Cola Company, Wells Fargo and Hewlett-Packard.

To view and download the Secretary-General's video message

Note to Editors: B-roll and Earth Hour still images can be found at http://www.earthhourus.org/broll.php