( AFP ) - Major cities around the world will plunge into darkness for an hour in March 2008 to mark their commitment to battling climate change, conservation group WWF said Friday.
Toronto, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Copenhagen and Chicago and many other cities in Asia, Europe and North America will switch off the lights on March 29 for the so-called Earth Hour, the group announced.
James Leape , head of WWF International, hailed the "unique global event" as a demonstration of the world's commitment to fighting global warming, which climate scientists say is one of the planet's gravest long-term problems.
"During Earth Hour, governments, businesses, community leaders and individuals will be turning out their lights and switching on their support for actions that can help make a difference in the most significant challenge facing the world today," Leape said in a statement.
The announcement came as the world's environment ministers and senior delegates thrashed out the details on a new climate change road map in Bali, Indonesia as talks entered 11th-hour haggles with key issues unresolved.
"While we expect the government leaders here in Bali to make courageous decisions that are needed to save our planet, Earth Hour reminds us that each of us can be part of the solution to climate change," Leape said.
Environmental delegates from more than 180 countries have until the end of Friday to agree a framework for tackling global warming past 2012, when pledges under the climate change-tackling treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, expire.
This will be the second Earth Hour organised by WWF, after Sydney plunged into the dark in March this year, with more than 2.2-million people taking part. Sydney's landmark Opera House and Harbour Bridge were among the buildings dimming the lights.
The idea behind the initiative is to raise awareness of climate change and promote energy efficiency.
"Now it is time to take Earth Hour to the rest of the world," said Sydney's Lord Mayor Clover Moore.