Poznan, Poland - Dozens of events around the world today marked the launch of the campaign for Earth Hour 2009, a global climate event for which 74 cities in 62 countries have already committed to switch off their lights at 8:30pm on March 28. The Earth Hour 2009 campaign aims to have more than one billion people in 1,000 cities turn off lights for one hour in a graphic demonstration of support for determined international action on climate change.
Poznan, PolandÂ - Dozens of events around the world today marked the launch of the campaign for Earth Hour 2009, a global climate event for which 74 cities in 62 countries have already committed to switch off their lights at 8:30pm on March 28.Â
The Earth Hour 2009 campaign aims to have more than one billion people in 1,000 cities turn off lights for one hour in a graphic demonstration of support for determined international action on climate change.Â
A key event is scheduled for Poznan, Poland where world nations are currently meeting under the banner of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). They are charged with thrashing out a new international climate change agreement which needs to be signed off at next Decemberâ€™s UNFCCC summit.Â
â€œWhen leaders gather in Copenhagen to negotiate a new global deal on climate, they must feel that the eyes of the world are upon them,â€ said James Leape, Director General of WWF International. â€œEarth Hour provides an opportunity for the public to send a powerful signal that that they are watching and that they expect action.â€Â
Cities already listed to participate in Earth Hour 2009 include Cape Town, Chicago, Copenhagen, Dubai, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Las Vegas, Lisbon, London, Los Angeles, Manila, Mexico City, Moscow, Nashville, Oslo, Rome, San Francisco, Singapore, Sydney, Toronto, and Warsaw.Â
Some of the international icons which will go dark for an hour in solidarity include the worldâ€™s tallest hotel tower (the Burj Dubaiin Dubai), the tallest towers in the Americas (the CN tower in Toronto) and the southern hemisphere (the Sky Tower in Auckland) and Moscowâ€™s Federation Tower. Swedenâ€™s King Carl XVI Gustaf has confirmed his support for Earth Hour while Quirinale - the official residence of the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano â€“ will also turn its lights off. Other landmarks which plan to merge into the night sky include the normally floodlit Table Mountain over Cape Town, South Africa and the Sydney Opera House.
â€œThe global economic meltdown has demonstrated that the world can unite and take action in times of crisis,â€ said Kim Carstensen, who leads WWFâ€™s Global Climate Initiative. â€œThat same decisive, multilateral approach is needed as we face the rapidly escalating climate crisis. Turning 'off' for Earth Hour sends a powerful message to our leaders that they must do whatâ€™s necessary to secure the future of the Earth.â€
Many organizations around the world announced their support for Earth Hour, including the C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group.Â
â€œThe C40 Climate Leadership Group is about cities working together to drive down greenhouse gas emissions and that is why as Chair of the C40 I support Earth Hour,â€ said Toronto Mayor David Miller. â€œIt's crucial that cities and the public come together to take action against climate change and Earth Hour provides a great platform to do that.â€