City of Atlanta to Participate in Earth Hour 2013

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Press release from Mayor Kasim Reed, City of Atlanta, 22 March 2013.  In addition to participating in Earth Hour, Atlanta also is one the 29 U.S. cities participating in the Earth Hour City Challenge.

The City of Atlanta will once again take part in World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) annual Earth Hour and join cities and buildings around the globe by turning off non-essential lights on Saturday, March 23, for one hour starting at 8:30 p.m.

Mayor Kasim Reed and Councilmember Aaron Watson are calling on city residents and businesses to surpass the previous four years of participation.

Our goal this year is to expand our commitment of city facilities and increase citywide participation in Earth Hour,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “Energy conservation is a priority for Atlanta and our collective efforts can have a tremendous impact. We encourage residents and businesses to join us in this effort and our overall sustainability initiatives."

"As the city of Atlanta continues to practice and promote smarter living, for us, Earth Hour serves as a gentle prod to make sure we are internally doing the little things that make a big difference throughout the year. I encourage you to evaluate your household's energy and water consumption and find ways to reduce, recycle and respect the local environment,” said Councilmember Aaron Watson.

Lights will be turned off in four city facilities including: Atlanta Workforce Development Agency (AWDA), 72 Marietta Street (housing multiple city agencies including the Department of Watershed Management), City Hall, and the Municipal Court of Atlanta.

Earth Hour is an annual global event organized by WWF. Households and businesses are asked to participate by simply turning off lights for one hour in a call for action on climate change. The collective actions are meant to demonstrate what can be accomplished when working together to protect the planet for future generations. Earth Hour 2012 gained support from hundreds of millions of people in more than 7,000 cities and towns in 152 countries.

In addition to turning off lights, Earth Hour encourages individuals to minimize their footprint on the Earth by committing to participating in Earth Hour’s “I Will if You Will” challenge. For videos of the challenge, visit www.youtube.com/earthhour. The campaign allows participants to encourage friends and the community to do something for the planet in return for a personal challenge.

“The momentum built over the last several years is certainly evident in the interest in participation we have across the City of Atlanta. We are committed to reducing our energy consumption at this hour, on this day, and throughout the year in city facilities and encourage members of the community to do the same," said Denise Quarles, Director of Sustainability.

WWF and The Sydney Morning Herald conceived the Earth Hour concept in 2007, when 2.2 million Sydney residents turned off all non-essential lights for one hour. Visit www.earthhour.org to learn more.

About the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability

The Mayor’s Office of Sustainability is focused on instituting environmental protection practices into Atlanta city government. For more information about Atlanta’s efforts to create a more sustainable city, please visit the Office of Sustainability’s page at www.atlantaga.gov/sustainability.

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For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @City_of_Atlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed

Online Resources:

Vancouver crowned Earth Hour Capital 2013Press release from Earth Hour City Challenge, 19 March 2013.

World cities take the lead on essential climate action. Press release from Earth Hour City Challenge, 17 January 2013.

Earth Hour City Challenge: Edmonton, AB and Richmond, BC.  Press release from WWF Canada, 17 January 2013.

World Cities compete for Earth Hour Capitals.  Press release from ICLEI Global, 17 January 2013.

Earth Hour City Challenge, main U.S. Site: EarthHourCities.org

Earth Hour City Challenge, international site.  Follow the Earth Hour City Challenge on Facebook and Twitter @EHcitychallenge

ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability USA.  See ICLEI's In Hottest Year on Record, a Wake Up Call for Cities and Counties, a fact sheet on how 20 leading cities and counties experienced extreme weather and climate impacts in 2012, and how they are responding through climate adaptation.

WWF Climate Change Blog, Earth Hour City Challenge section (includes RSS Feed)

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