WASHINGTON, D.C. - February 15, 2008 – Momentum continues to build for Earth Hour 2008, as World Wildlife Fund announced today that four major US cities will take part in a global effort to turn off the lights on March 29, 2008 to demonstrate concern about climate change.
Mayors from Atlanta, Phoenix and San Francisco said they would join US flagship city Chicago and 16 cities around the world in urging individuals, businesses, and communities to turn off all non-essential lighting from 8 to 9 pm local time in a dramatic call for action on climate change that will cascade across all four time zones of the continental United States.
WWF officials said the goal of Earth Hour was to raise awareness of climate change and demonstrate how by working together, individuals can make a difference in the fight against this global issue.
“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 S. Roberts, president and chief executive officer of World Wildlife Fund – US. “Turning off the lights for just one hour shows we can adjust the way we lead our lives. It is a simple action that can inspire people around the world to make a serious long-term commitment to reducing energy consumption.”
To darken some of the world’s most iconic skylines, WWF is working closely with city officials, local public safety departments, utility companies and private and public organizations to coordinate logistics in each of the 20 participating cities, which include Bangkok, Copenhagen, Manila, Sydney, and Toronto.
In the US:
Earth Hour 2008 was officially launched at a press conference this morning in Chicago, with Mayor Richard M. Daley declaring the event a major part of his environmental program “Conserve Chicago Together.” City leaders are working closely with local power company ComEd, advertising agency Leo Burnett and a group of local partners to darken Chicago’s famous skyline and other key landmarks throughout the Windy City.
- In Atlanta, Mayor Shirley Franklin signed on as a supporting city to complement her recently launched “Sustainable Atlanta” environmental initiative. WWF is partnering with the city of Atlanta, Georgia Power and other organizations in the Atlanta metro area to coordinate “the night the lights will go out in Georgia,” representing the US Eastern Time Zone.
- In Phoenix, Mayor Phil Gordon and city officials will be working with the local utility APS and other corporate partners to coordinate efforts on this historic night, in which the city will officially represent the US Mountain Time Zone for Earth Hour 2008.
- In San Francisco, Mayor Gavin Newsom’s office is teaming up with Pacific Gas and Electric Company and other corporate partners, to coordinate efforts to darken prominent landmarks throughout the city by the Bay.
Major corporations are lining up to join the Earth Hour movement as well, including HP, which signed on as the Earth Hour National Technology Partner. Additional sponsors will be announced in the coming weeks.
In addition to turning off lights, Earth Hour participants are being asked to replace older light bulbs with highly efficient compact fluorescent bulbs, and to pledge to take actions to reduce their energy consumption on a daily basis. WWF’s corporate partners will not only pledge to turn off all non-essential lights during Earth Hour, but agree to identify long-term ways to reduce energy usage.
WWF and officials from all the flagship Earth Hour cities emphasize the importance of celebrating Earth Hour in a safe and secure environment. Public safety lighting, including street lights and security lighting will remain on during the Hour. Hospitals, emergency services and electric power will not go dark.
More information about Earth Hour can be found at www.EarthHour.org.
Earth Hour – A Global Climate Change Event
WWF’s inaugural Earth Hour took place in Sydney, Australia in March 2007 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.
To date, 20 major cities in six countries around the world have been selected as official flagship cities, while individuals and organizations wherever they are located are encouraged to visit www.earthhour.org and participate in Earth Hour as a way to demonstrate their concern about climate change, and to commit to reducing energy usage in the years ahead.
Cities participating in Earth Hour 2008 (as of February 15, 2008):
- Aalborg, Denmark
- Aarhus, Denmark
- Adelaide, Australia
- Atlanta, United States
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Brisbane, Australia
- Canberra, Australia
- Chicago, United States
- Christchurch, New Zealand
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Manila, Philippines
- Melbourne, Australia
- Odense, Denmark
- Perth, Australia
- Phoenix, United States
- San Francisco, United States
- Suva, Fiji
- Sydney , Australia
- Tel Aviv, Israel
- Toronto, Canada