Lights out for Sydney Harbor Bridge, other world landmarks for Earth Hour

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LONDON (AP) — Landmarks around the world are going dark this evening as part of a global effort to put a spotlight on climate change.

The iconic Harbor Bridge and Opera House in Sydney, Australia, were the first to switch off the lights. London's Big Ben, the Great Wall of China and the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., will all be dimmed at 8:30 p.m. local time. In Germany, World Wildlife Fund activists plan to light 5,000 blue and green candles in the form of a globe in front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate before city officials switch off the monument's lighting.

Hundreds of businesses and organizations around the world plan to follow suit.

WWF says 147 countries and territories are taking part this year. New participants include Libya, Algeria, Bhutan and French Guinea.

Earth Hour began as a Sydney-only event in 2007.

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APPHOTO XKL102: Children wave their LED candles during an event to mark Earth Hour in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Saturday, March 31, 2012. Earth Hour takes place worldwide at 8.30 p.m. local time and is a global call to turn off lights for 60 minutes in a bid to highlight the global climate change.(AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin) (31 Mar 2012)

<<APPHOTO XKL102 (03/31/12)>>

APPHOTO XPR103: Women hold lighted candles as they watch the program after the symbolic switching off of lights in observance of Earth Hour Saturday, March 31, 2012 in Manila's financial district of Makati, Philippines. The switching off of lights for one hour is being observed world-wide as part of a global effort to shine a spotlight on climate change. (AP Photo/Pat Roque) (31 Mar 2012)

<<APPHOTO XPR103 (03/31/12)>>

APPHOTO XVT106: University students hold papers leaf to celebrate before a mini marathon in conjunction during the Earth Hour at the Great Wall of China in the north of Beijing, China, Saturday, March 31, 2012. Hundreds of landmarks around the world including Washington's National Cathedral, London's Clock Tower, the Great Wall of China and Tokyo Tower will be dimmed at 8:30 p.m. local time, as part of a global effort to shine a spotlight on climate change. (AP Photo/ Vincent Thian) (31 Mar 2012)

<<APPHOTO XVT106 (03/31/12)>>

APPHOTO XVT108: The Great Wall of China went dark as the landmark switched off the lights to mark 'Earth Hour' as part of a global effort to shine a spotlight on climate change in north of Beijing, China, Saturday, March 31, 2012. (AP Photo/ Vincent Thian) (31 Mar 2012)

<<APPHOTO XVT108 (03/31/12)>>

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