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Shanghai joins the campaign alongside other Chinese cities

SHANGHAI'S three tallest buildings - Shanghai World Financial Center, Oriental Pearl TV Tower and Jin Mao Tower - were plunged into darkness last night, joining the growing ranks of world landmarks switching off lights to raise public awareness of climate change.

The lights went also out from 8:30pm to 9:30pm in the city at another 163 business centers, 15 universities, 32 middle and primary schools and kindergartens, 71 communities and over 100 enterprises.

Local government also demonstrated its support of the Earth Hour initiative developed by WWF (World Wide Fund For Nature) by ordering government buildings to shut off display lighting during the hour.

WWF and East Radio Shanghai also teamed up to broadcast a live radio program from the Oriental Pearl TV Tower involving participating cities in different time zones.

"It is the first time that China has participated in the Earth Hour event, reflecting the awareness of the government and the public of the importance of environmental protection and a low-carbon economy," said local WWF official Wang Limin.

Shanghai residents expressed their strong support of the event and many people specially went to see the lights-out in downtown areas.

Li Xingyi, a five-year-old girl, went with her parents to Xujiahui - where major stores shut off their display lighting - to see "how people treated the sick Earth by turning off lights."

"My mother told me the Earth is getting a fever with so many lights, so we should keep it cool by turning them off them," the little girl said. "I have also started to turn off unnecessary lights at home."

Many people added their signatures to a board set up by drinks company Coca-Cola to demonstrate their commitment to protecting the Earth.

Janet Grosseschallau, a 26-year-old German, said her home country also participated in Earth Hour.

"It is a very cool thing that so many countries and so many people do the same thing to protect the Earth," she said. "Though it is a little dark in Shanghai now, it shows a different beauty and I love it."

About 20 Chinese cities, including Hong Kong, Baoding, Beijing, Dalian, Chengdu and Wuhan, also participated last night.

In addition to Earth Hour, WWF has started cooperation with governments in Shanghai, Beijing and Baoding on low-carbon urban projects. WWF is also helping local authorities to introduce modern architectural energy-saving technologies.


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