Asia gives huge boost to Earth Hour call for global climate action

Asian nations from the Philippines to India have delivered huge boost to the WWF Earth Hour rallying cry for decisive action on climate change from world leaders this year.

As the lights out for one hour from 8.30 pm local time "vote for earth" event headed towards the Middle East, Europe and Africa it appeared participations was soaring into the hundreds of millions..

Earlier, South Korea’s leading global citizen, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had described WWF’s Earth Hour as "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," he said, looking forward to the UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen in December which is charged with coming up with a replacement to the expiring – and inadequate – Kyoto Protocol.

"People will be telling their representatives to seal a deal in Copenhagen," he said. "We need an ambitious agreement. An agreement that is fair and effective. An agreement based on sound science."


The number of cities, towns and municipalities registered to take part in the global vote continued to rise as the event was under way, reaching 3943 communities from 88 countries spread over 25 time zones as Asia took over from Oceania as the focus of Earth Hour. The explosive growth of the event, going from two million people from just one city in 2007 to 53 million in 371 cities in 35 countries in 2008 reflects growing global concern over climate change and the inability of the world so far to craft an effective global response, WWF said. WWF International Director General James Leape said "Earth Hour is off to a great start with millions of people switching their lights off from tiny island communities in the Pacific to major cities like Sydney and Beijing." "This promises to be an amazing 24 hours - a powerful call for action on climate change."

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