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Viet to join 135 countries,territories in Earth Hour 2012

HANOI, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — The Earth Hour 2012 is expected to attract about 1.8 billion people from 135 countries and territories across the world in response to the fight against climate change, said the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) here Tuesday.

MIT launched the campaign in response to the Earth Hour 2012 in Vietnam with the message “You and I – Together we act.” Vietnamese people are encouraged to join in the Earth Hour this year which falls on March 31, from 8.30 p.m.to 9.30 p.m.local time, During that time they should switch off unnecessary lighting to save power.

The Earth Hour ceremony will be held at the August Square in capital Hanoi and broadcast live on the Vietnam Television. Danish Ambassador to Vietnam John Nielsen, together with Vietnamese Miss “Friendly” Duong Thuy Linh, singers Thanh Lam and Tung Duong will be Vietnam’s Earth Hour Ambassadors.

Earth Hour is an initiative of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) which aims to enhance the community awareness about power saving and against climate change worldwide. Practical actions are encouraged, including switching off unnecessary lights for one hour on the last Saturday of March every year. Meanwhile, various events are held throughout the year to support efforts against climate change.

According to United Nations Development Program’s forecast, Vietnam is among the top-five countries mostly vulnerable to climate change. If the sea level rises for 1 more meter, Vietnam will lose 5 percent of its land, 11 percent of residents will lose houses, 7 percent of food output and 10 percent of the GDP will be reduced.

Experts also calculated that if 3-5 percent of power is saved annually, the local power sector can save about 50 million U.S. dollars, which can be used to build new power supply network.

In its national program on saving power during 2012-2015, Vietnam set an annual target of saving 5-8 percent of the total power consumption.

In response to the Earth Hour 2011, Vietnam saved 400,000 KWh of power in one hour, worth 500 million Vietnamese dong (more than 24,000 U.S. dollars). This year, the country plans to save 20 percent more of power consumption.

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