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Belfast’s city lights go out for Earth Hour 2009

The Victoria Square dome, Belfast Wheel, Queen’s University and Belfast City Hall will be plunged into darkness in one month’s time as part of the biggest ever mass global action on climate change.

Skylines across the globe will darken as millions of people across the planet switch off their lights for one hour, sending a signal to global leaders that they must take urgent action to tackle climate change.

Between 8.30pm and 9.30pm local time on Saturday, March 28, people, businesses, cities and communities around the world will take part in WWF's Earth Hour.

The international green group aims to inspire one billion people in more than 1,000 cities to sign up and switch off their lights.

To date, nearly 700 cities in more than 75 countries have signed up for Earth Hour, including London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast in the UK and hundreds of others around the world, from Cape Town, Dubai, Hong Kong and Istanbul to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Moscow, Singapore, Sydney and Toronto.

Geoff Nuttall, head of WWF Northern Ireland, said: “WWF's Earth Hour is an inspiring |opportunity for people all around the world to do something positive to tackle climate change.

“By signing up to switch their lights off, millions of people will be showing world leaders that they care about curbing the worst |impacts of climate change while we still can.”

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Global icons taking part include the Eiffel Tower, the Shanghai Hong Kong New World Tower, Sydney's Opera House and Table Mountain in Cape Town.

Cate Blanchett, Boris Johnson and economist Lord Nicholas Stern are all switching off for Earth Hour and the world scouting movement and the Women's Institute are rallying their members to back the event.

Belfast Lord Mayor Tom Hartley said: “Belfast City Council is |delighted to support Earth Hour 2009. The Council is committed to creating a greener, cleaner city where good environmental practice is at the core of all policy and practice.

“There are many positive steps that the council, local citizens and businesses can take to reduce the city's carbon footprint and to protect our valuable resources for |future generations.

Sign up to WWF’s Earth Hour by visiting wwf.org.uk/niearthhour or texting Earth to 84880