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Mayors unite for Earth Hour

Symbolic light-out to take place tonight

Gulf News

Dubai: A million Copenhagen citizens will join the City Hall Square officials to plunge the entire city into darkness for Earth Hour today at 7pm local time.

Speaking to Gulf News over the phone from Copenhagen, Lotte Hansen, Director of Mannov, said: "The switching of lights will be more symbolic, as the purpose of it would be to create awareness and to make a point that we do care about climate change."

Apart from citizens, business houses and other establishments will also turn off the lights to show their concern in the presence of the mayor of Copenhagen and the mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg, who will be joined by 80 other mayors from all over the world. The United Nations' Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the former US vice-president Al Gore will be present at the event.

The city has elected its Hopenhagen ambassador David Kroodsma, who will negotiate with the world leaders and encourage people on the streets to make COP15 a success.

"Kroodsma, an environmental educator and a worldwide bike traveller will represent the global ‘Hopenhagen' community. He will spread the awareness on the streets of Copenhagen by engaging people on the importance of climate change. He will meet Al Gore and other world leaders during the summit," Hansen said.

Kroodsma's passion for the environment has been demonstrated by his fold-up bike trip from California through South America, meeting people and giving climate presentations to schools and groups along the way.

When asked about a possible deal during the summit, Hansen said: "I hope there will be a deal and the world leaders will come to a conclusion on reducing carbon emissions." She said that due to the presence of UN Secretary-General and other world leaders, chances "are bright over a possible positive outcome from the summit".

People's Orb

The evening will also see the world leaders presented with The People's Orb — a shimmering 20-centimetre silver metal sphere encasing a 350-gigabyte hard drive containing individual expressions of hope from around the world.

The Orb contains hundreds of millions of stories, voices, images and action of everyday people.

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