Millions Across the Globe to “Go Dark” for Earth Hour on March 23; San Francisco named 2013 U.S. Earth Hour City Capital

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Press release (dated 19 March 2013) from WWF....

Millions Across the Globe to “Go Dark” for Earth Hour on March 23

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 19, 2013 – This Saturday, front porches, businesses, town halls and iconic landmarks across America and around the world will go dark as non-essential lights are switched off for one hour in celebration of the world’s largest voluntary environmental action.

From New York City’s Empire State Building to the Las Vegas Strip, and from San Francisco’s leading hotels and restaurants to New Jersey Girl Scout Troop 24349, at 8:30 p.m. (local time) on Saturday, March 23 Earth Hour participants will raise awareness about the environmental impact we have on our planet.

“Earth Hour is an annual display of how our imagination can inspire and engage hundreds of millions to focus on the one thing that unites us – our planet,” said Keya Chatterjee, director of international climate policy for World Wildlife Fund (WWF). “In addition to raising global awareness, we are also transforming that excitement into local action to prepare our communities for the impacts of extreme weather and climate change.”

The impacts of climate change are already being felt by communities across America, especially when it comes to extreme weather like hurricanes, floods, droughts and heat waves. As a result, our local leaders have become our first responders to climate-driven events and are taking practical steps to prepare their communities and reduce their carbon footprint through better planning and improving infrastructure.

San Francisco is among our nation’s leading cities addressing climate change and is the 2013 U.S. Earth Hour City Capital. It was selected from a group of 29 U.S. cities participating in WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge – an annual initiative recognizing cities preparing for increasingly extreme weather and promoting renewable energy.

“For years, San Francisco has gone dark in support of Earth Hour to remind our residents that environmental sustainability is critical to our city’s future,” said Melanie Nutter, director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. “We are excited to be the U.S. Earth Hour Capital City and are proud of our city’s efforts to protect the planet. We will continue to further cut emissions from energy use, transportation and waste, while showing that it’s possible to have a growing, dynamic economy and lower our carbon footprint at the same time.”

San Francisco, along with fellow Earth Hour City Challengers Chicago and Cleveland, will receive WWF’s Earth Hour Climate Leaders Award and $30,000 to support their efforts to engage residents in local climate action.

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NOTES TO THE EDITOR

About Earth Hour

Earth Hour is a global environmental initiative in partnership with WWF. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 23, 2013 at 8:30 p.m. to show their support for environmentally sustainable action. Earth Hour began in one city in 2007 and by 2012 involved hundreds of millions of people in 152 countries across every continent.

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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