Earth Hour

Earth Hour

February 19, 2009 06:00 ET

WWF-Canada: East Meets West for Earth Hour in Over 500 Cities

- Number of cities and towns signed up to Earth Hour 2009 exceeds 500 - More than 50 Canadian cities sign on - 75 countries now committed - Global brands pledge support for the lights-out campaign

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 19, 2009) - The global call to action on climate change has been answered from east to west as a record 538 cities and towns in 75 countries have already signed up to turn their lights off at 8:30 p.m. on March 28 for Earth Hour 2009. More than 50 Canadian cities and municipalities (and counting) have joined, ranging from major centres such as Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Halifax, to smaller municipalities such as Natashquan, QC, Tweed, ON, and White Rock, BC.

East meets west as iconic world landmarks have committed to turn off or reduce lighting for Earth Hour, including the Merlion in Singapore, Hong Kong's Symphony of Lights, the Shanghai Hong Kong New World Tower, Paris' Eiffel Tower, Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Sydney's Opera House, Table Mountain in Cape Town, Las Vegas's MGM Grand Casino, and in Canada, Toronto's CN Tower, the Calgary Tower, West Edmonton Mall, Vancouver's Lion Gate Bridge, and Niagara Falls.

Earth Hour Executive Director Andy Ridley said the global growth in support for Earth Hour has been phenomenal.

"In 2007, Earth Hour was held in one city, Sydney. A year later, the number of cities had skyrocketed to 371. With six weeks to go before Earth Hour 2009 we are well over the half-way mark towards our goal of 1,000 cities and towns including Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax. Earth Hour is bringing together the diverse peoples of the world in a truly universal and unifying way. From Auckland to Hawaii and Cape Town to St Petersburg, people are coming together to vote with their light switch for action on climate change," said Mr Ridley.

As the campaign continues to gather pace, some of the world's best known brands are leading the call for action from the business community.

The business community has an incredible ability and responsibility to engage employees, customers and suppliers to create a sustainable future for our planet.

"Canadian business leaders such as Coca-Cola, Fairmont Hotels, and Sears Canada are coming together to make a difference," said Gerald Butts, President, WWF Canada. "As the national sponsors of Earth Hour in Canada, these organizations are raising awareness and adding their voices to the global call for climate change."

"With the support of businesses, countries and citizens globally, Earth Hour 2009 can reach out to one billion people voting with their light switch on 28 March for action on climate change," said Mr. Ridley.

Other Canadian cities wanting to join the movement are encouraged to email earthhour@wwfcanada.org to include their name on the website and get other tips and information on how to make Earth Hour happen in their city.

Notes to editors:

- B-roll and photos from Earth Hour Canada 2008 can be found at www.flickr.com/wwfcanada

- Photos from Earth Hour Global 2008 - www.flickr.com/earthhour_global

- Please refer www.earthhour.org/mediacentre for a full list of cities, towns and municipalities & icons committed to Earth Hour 2009

About Earth Hour

Earth Hour is a global WWF climate change initiative. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 28, 2009 at 8:30 PM to show their support for action on climate change. The event began in Sydney in 2007, and has since grown into a global movement with a goal of reaching one billion people in 1,000 cities in 2009. In Canada, Sears Canada and Coca Cola Ltd. (Coca-Cola in Canada) are the official sponsors. EarthHourCanada.org

About WWF

WWF-Canada is part of WWF - the global conservation organization. Founded in 1967, WWF-Canada has become one of the country's leading conservation organizations, enjoying the active support of more than 100,000 Canadians. WWF-Canada works to save nature by conserving species and protecting their habitats; by ensuring our use of natural resources is sustainable, and by helping individuals, companies and governments reduce pollution. For more information, visit wwf.ca.

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