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Wisconsin to Turn Out for WWF’s Earth Hour 2010

State Capitol Building, Governor’s Residence and Milwaukee Public Market Set to Go Dark on March 27th at 8:30 p.m. as Part of Largest Global Call to Action on Climate Change

WASHINGTON, Monday, March 1 – World Wildlife Fund (WWF) announced today that Wisconsin has become an official Earth Hour state, with a commitment from Governor Jim Doyle to turn out the lights in both the governor’s residence and state capitol building in Madison during Earth Hour 2010—Saturday, March 27th at 8:30 p.m. The Milwaukee Public Market also will go dark.

Earth Hour is an event in which millions of Americans will turn out their lights for one hour in support of action on climate change and toward creating a cleaner, safer and more secure future. 2010 marks the third year of the event, which attracted more than 80 million participants in the U.S. last year, and nearly a billion people around the world, as lights dimmed on such global icons as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Sydney’s Opera House, the Great Pyramids of Gaza and New York’s Empire State Building. 

“Every day we follow good energy saving practices, like shutting off any lights that are not essential and keeping the thermostats down at the State Capitol,” Governor Doyle said. “We are happy to join the World Wildlife Fund to celebrate Earth Hour and remind people how important energy-saving practices are to reducing pollution, strengthening the local economy, and helping us move forward on our goals for energy independence.”

Wisconsin is one of a record 19 states and 48 cities across the U.S. that will dim their lights for Earth Hour 2010, with more expected to join the global movement in the coming weeks. City and state officials have committed to turning off non-essential lighting in state capitol buildings, city halls, governors’ residences and other landmarks.

WWF officials said Earth Hour is continuing to build strong momentum, with significantly more states and cities signed up compared to this time last year.

“Earth Hour sends a message that it’s time for America to switch to a cleaner, safer and more secure future,” said WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts. “We expect tens of millions Americans all across the nation will take part because they care about our country, our planet and our future.”??

States officially participating in Earth Hour 2010 to date include Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin—triple the number that took part in 2009. Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, St. Louis, and Winston-Salem are among the cities taking part. The list of participating communities includes Huntsville, AL; Lansing, MI; Malibu, CA; Plainsboro, NJ; Portland, OR, Montgomery County, MD; Rochester, NY and Valparaiso, IN. 

U.S. landmarks such as Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, St. Louis’ Gateway Arch, Sea World in Orlando, “The Strip” in Las Vegas, New York’s Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Washington D.C.’s National Cathedral, California’s Santa Monica Pier and the Space Needle in Seattle are among the hundreds of sites that will turn off non-essential lighting for the hour, in what is expected to be the largest-ever call to action on climate change.

Outside the U.S., WWF said they expect more than 800 cities in 80 countries to take part in Earth Hour 2010, including Athens, Bangkok, Cape Town, Delhi, Dubai, Geneva, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Manila, Moscow, Rome, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Tel Aviv and Toronto. Cities participating for the first time include Stockholm and Hiroshima.

Note to Editors:
Footage and photographs of Earth Hour 09 being observed are available upon request.

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Since its inception three years ago, Earth Hour has captured the world’s imagination becoming a global phenomenon. Last year, for Earth Hour 2009 nearly one billion people in 4,100 cities in 87 countries on seven continents turned out. In the U.S. alone, 80 million Americans and 318 cities officially voted for action with their light switch. These people and municipalities were joined by iconic landmarks including: the Las Vegas Strip, the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings in New York City, the Space Needle in Seattle, Church of Latter-Day Saints Temple in Salt Lake City, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the National Cathedral in Washington DC.  International landmarks that turned off their lights included the Great Pyramids of Giza, Parthenon in Athens, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Big Ben and Houses of Parliament in London, Paris’ Elysee Palace and Eiffel Tower, Beijing’s Birds Nest and Water Cube, Symphony of Lights in Hong Kong, Sydney’s Opera House and Christ de Redeemer status in Rio de Janeiro.