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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2008

Gov. Blagojevich and State of Illinois employees will participate in Earth Hour on March 29th
Governor joins climate change initiative, encourages all Illinoisans to pledge to turn off lights for one hour from 8 to 9 pm

CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that the State of Illinois will participate in Earth Hour, a climate change awareness event created by World Wildlife Fund where businesses and residents will turn off the lights in their buildings for one hour on March 29th, 2008 to symbolize the need to take action on this global issue.  More than 30 cities on six continents around the world are participating in Earth Hour. Chicago was chosen as the flagship Earth Hour city in the United States, and we will be joined by Atlanta, Phoenix, and San Francisco, as well as Copenhagen, Toronto, Melbourne, Brisbane, Bangkok, Dubai, Dublin, Christchurch and Tel Aviv globally.
 
“I am pleased to announce the State of Illinois is participating in Earth Hour to highlight the difference all of us – from large organizations down to individual people – can have on the problem of climate change.  We will be joined by the City of Chicago and hundreds of local businesses, residents, and organizations in conserving energy and demonstrating our commitment to combating climate change.  Our hope is that people will see how easy it is to take action against climate change. Doing something as simple as turning out your lights can make a difference.  By working together and thinking of ways to change our habits in the long-term to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, each one of us can make a positive impact to help combat the effects of global warming,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
 
"By supporting Earth Hour, the State of Illinois is sending a powerful message to the world about its commitment to finding solutions to climate change,” said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund. "We very much appreciate Governor Blagojevich’s support of Earth Hour, an event which symbolizes that by working together we can make a difference in the fight against climate change.” 
 
As part of Earth Hour, the State of Illinois will turn off the lights in state-occupied buildings in Chicago, including the James R. Thompson Center, the Michael Bilandic Building, and 401 S. Clinton.  This includes all non-essential and decorative outside lights.  The state’s main web portal, www.illinois.gov, will also used to promote the event and will reflect Earth Hour’s goal to “turn off the lights.”
 
For more information on Earth Hour, visit the Earth Hour website at: www.earthhourus.org. 
 
For more information on how to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions, visit the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s website at: www.epa.state.il.us.
 
 
A copy of the Governor’s letter is below:
 
 
Dear State Employee –
 
I am pleased to announce that the State of Illinois is participating in an exciting climate change awareness event called Earth Hour on March 29th.  During Earth Hour, the State of Illinois will join thousands of other public and private entities worldwide and “turn off the lights” from 8 pm to 9 pm. 
 
The goal of Earth Hour is to demonstrate that, by working together, each one of us can make a positive impact to help combat the effects of global warming.
 
Earth Hour, created by World Wildlife Fund, is being held in more than 30 cities across 6 continents. Chicago is the flagship Earth Hour city in the US, and we will be joined by Atlanta, Phoenix, and San Francisco for this historic event. 
 
What is the State of Illinois doing for Earth Hour?
 
As part of Earth Hour, the State of Illinois will turn off the lights in state occupied buildings in Chicago’s “Loop,” including the James R. Thompson Center, the Michael Bilandic Building, and 401 S. Clinton from 8 pm to 9 pm. This includes all non-essential and decorative outside lights. We will be joined by the City of Chicago and hundreds of local businesses, residents, and organizations in conserving energy and demonstrating our commitment to combating climate change.
 
All street lights and lights vital to public safety will remain on.
 
What Can You Do for Earth Hour?
 
We encourage you to participate in Earth Hour from your home as well.  We want people to see how easy it is to take action against climate change. You don’t have to turn off your refrigerator, for example, but we do encourage you to join other Illinoisans and your friends around the world by switching off your lights, changing to energy-efficient compact fluorescents and thinking of ways you can change your habits in the long-term to reduce your carbon dioxide emissions.
 
If you have any questions about how participation will impact your office building, please feel free to contact CMS at 312-814-2141.  For more information on the history of and how to most effectively participate in Earth Hour visit the Earth Hour website at: www.earthhourus.org.  For more tips on how to combat climate change and reduce your carbon emissions visit the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s website at: www.epa.state.il.us.
 
Thank you for your participation.
 


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