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CHICAGO - Residents, municipalities and businesses throughout Chicago and Illinois will commemorate Earth Hour tonight by switching off non-essential lights for one hour. Now in its sixth year, Earth Hour is the world’s largest voluntary, simultaneous environmental action event.
The highlight of each Earth Hour is seeing a local iconic landmark go dark for one hour. This year, the City of Chicago, ComEd and the Chicago Cubs will celebrate Earth Hour Illinois with a symbolic “lights out” event under the Wrigley Field marquee. Officials representing local government agencies, ComEd and the Cubs will turn off the historic marquee on Saturday night with a ceremonial light switch at 8:30 p.m.
"Promoting sustainability and improving the quality of life for all Chicagoans is a key focus of my administration,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Earth Hour shows our commitment to being environmentally proactive and working with the business community to promote sustainable practices and foster economic opportunity throughout the city.”
The City of Chicago will be turning off nonessential lighting in City Hall, the Cultural Center, Public Safety Headquarters, and additional city facilities.
Wrigley Field is one of hundreds of other buildings, institutions and landmarks throughout Chicago that will turn off their exterior lights in support of Earth Hour Illinois. Other recognizable Chicago buildings participating in Earth Hour Illinois include Chase Tower, James R. Thompson Center, and Willis Tower. In Springfield, the Capitol Building and the Governor's Mansion will go dark for the hour.
“It may seem ironic that ComEd—a company in the business of delivering power—would be supporting an initiative to reduce energy use,” said Fidel Marquez, senior vice president of Governmental and External Affairs and chief governmental and community affairs officer, ComEd. “As a good corporate citizen, ComEd is committed to conserving resources and helping mitigate climate change. It’s not just what we can do as businesses and communities, but what each person can do to conserve resources and manage energy usage, to create robust, sustainable future.”
“This is the fifth consecutive year the Cubs have participated in Earth Hour which reflects our commitment to being a good neighbor and community partner,” said Mike Lufrano, Cubs executive vice president, community affairs. “Earth Hour is a great example of how a simple event like turning off the Wrigley Field marquee can start a conversation about conservation and inspire people to bring change.”
In the Chicagoland area, dozens of municipalities throughout the region are committed to going dark during Earth Hour Illinois. Communities making the pledge include Batavia, Buffalo Grove, Dekalb, Highland Park, Lisle, Lockport, Lombard, Mount Prospect, Niles, Roselle, and Wilmette.
Last year’s celebration of Earth Hour was the biggest in the campaign's history. It took place in more than 5,250 cities, reaching 1.8 billion people in 135 countries across all seven continents. Last year’s ‘lights out’ events included some of the world’s most recognized landmarks, including the Forbidden City, Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace, Golden Gate Bridge, Table Mountain, Christ the Redeemer statue and Sydney Opera House. All are expected to go dark again this year.
ComEd’s sponsorship of Earth Hour supports the company’s focus on environmental programs and energy-efficiency education and action. Earth Hour is a component of Exelon 2020, a strategy developed by ComEd’s parent company, Exelon, to reduce, offset, or displace more than 15 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year by 2020. ComEd also provides households and businesses energy-efficiency tips at www.comed.com/smartideas.
Created by the World Wildlife Fund in 2007, Earth Hour is celebrated across the globe as households, businesses, and landmarks symbolically switch off their non-essential lights for one hour to raise awareness about climate change.
For more information about Earth Hour, visit www.EarthHour.org, or follow Earth Hour Illinois on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EarthHourIL or on twitter: @EarthHourIL. Follow the City of Chicago’s sustainability efforts at www.sustainchicago.com or www.twitter.com/sustainchicago.
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