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Switch off lights for Earth Hour

The Tasmanian Government will switch off its lights for an hour on March 29 in support of the global climate change event, Earth Hour.

Earth Hour is part of a global campaign to inspire people to take action on climate change.

In March 2007, 2.2 million people and 2,100 Sydney businesses and attractions, including the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, turned off their lights for one hour, reducing the city’s energy consumption by 10.2 per cent.

Tasmania was the only other Australian state to take part in 2007, with lights turned off on the Tasman Bridge, Albert Hall and Wrest Point Casino.

This year, Earth Hour is going global and Tasmania will again be taking part, with lights switched off from 8pm on Saturday 29 March.

Premier Paul Lennon has asked all Tasmanian Government departments to identify buildings, areas and locations where power could be switched off in a practical and safe way.

The feature lights on the Tasman Bridge will also be turned off for an hour to show Tasmania’s support for this international initiative.

The Lord Mayors of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Adelaide have signed on to Earth Hour and several state governments have also pledged their support.

Mr Lennon encouraged Tasmanians to show their concern about climate change by also turning off their lights during Earth Hour.

"Tasmanians can also pledge to continue to save energy by being more aware of the consumption of electricity in their own homes and at work," the Premier said.

"Tasmania’s reliance on the renewable energy of hydro and wind power means our greenhouse emissions from electricity are much lower than other states.

"However, if Tasmanians save electricity, they not only save money but also contribute to the export of renewable energy through Basslink, which helps reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions."

The Government has also pledged to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions by asking respected environmental academic Dr Kate Crowley to develop a framework for action.

Earth Hour is an initiative of the global conservation organisation World Wide Fund For Nature and Tasmanians can sign up at www.earthhour.org