Switch off tonight

SWITCH off your lights – that s the plea to people as part of a global campaign next weekend to reduce carbon emissions and save energy. Residents are being asked to turn their lights off at 8.30pm today (Saturday). The switch-off is part of Earth Hour, a

SWITCH off your lights - that's the plea to people as part of a global campaign next weekend to reduce carbon emissions and save energy.

Residents are being asked to turn their lights off at 8.30pm today (Saturday). The switch-off is part of Earth Hour, a WWF worldwide event.

So far, 750 cities and 80 countries have signed up to take part in Earth Hour 2009.

The list of cities confirming their participation includes 37 national capitals and some of the great cities of the world, including London, Beijing, Rome, Moscow, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong and many other cities.


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Last year more than 350 cities around the world switched off, including landmark buildings such as the Sydney Opera House, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome's Coliseum and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square, New York.

Cllr Milton McKenzie, executive member for environmental sustainability, said: "We want the residents of Barking and Dagenham to get involved and make a difference to work towards a sustainable future.

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"Residents could make a difference to climate change by switching off for one hour. All it takes is the flick of a switch."

Barking and Dagenham Council wants to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions by 20 per cent by 2011 and is investing more than �1million.

So far the authority has insulated the lofts in schools, upgraded lighting so that they use less energy, upgraded pool covers in leisure centres and has launched the Green Champions scheme to increase education and awareness in the council staff.

Last year the borough was awarded Beacon status for tackling climate change. The award recognises Barking and Dagenham as a leading authority on the issue of climate change, and means that for one year the council will be responsible for sharing the best practice found in the borough with local authorities nationwide.

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