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10 December 2008
'Lights out' for Cape Town

Cape Town is one of 74 cities worldwide that will switch off its lights for one hour next year to draw attention to climate change, the World Wide Fund for Nature said on Wednesday.

"The campaign, which hopes to reach out to more than one billion people in 1 000 cities around the world, asks individuals, businesses and governments to switch off lights for just one hour on Saturday March 28 at 20:30 to create a platform of support for action on climate change," the WWF said in a statement.

So far, 74 cities in 62 countries have agreed to take part.

The list includes Cape Town, London, Moscow, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Sydney, Rome, Manila, Oslo, Warsaw, Lisbon, Singapore, Istanbul, Mexico City, Toronto, Dubai and Copenhagen.

"Icons switching off include the world's tallest hotel building in Dubai (the Burj Dubai), the tallest free-standing structure in the Americas (the CN Tower in Toronto), Moscow's Federation Tower and in Rome the official residence (Quirinale) of the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano.

Table Mountain's flood lights

"Further, Auckland's Sky Tower - the tallest tower in the southern hemisphere will go dark, joined by Australia's iconic sails of the Sydney Opera House and across in Cape Town, South Africa, the iconic Table Mountain will mark Earth Hour by turning off its flood lights," the WWF said.

Cape Town mayor Helen Zille called on other SA cities to join the initiative.

"It is imperative that people stand together on climate change. We encourage South Africa's other cities to commit to coming on board."

Johannesburg is not on the list of participating cities.

Earth Hour aims to "put the heat on world leaders meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009 to strike a new global deal on climate change", said the WWF.

The so-called lights out initiative started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and has since spread to other countries.


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