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Skyscrapers join Asia's major lights-out campaign
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Over a hundred buildings in Hong Kong, including some landmark skyscrapers, joined at least 70 other cities across Asia to turn their lights off for an hour on Saturday evening in a major lights-out campaign.

Wim Chang and Kimmie Yip had a lights-out period of half an hour at their wedding ceremony on Saturday night, which the couple said was just as romantic.

"The guests will have no difficulty relating a wedding ceremony in the dark with the romance of the first night," said Chang, the bridegroom who had studied climate change for his masters degree in the United Kingdom and started recording his own carbon emission since July last year with the aim of reducing it.

Chang, who was born in Taiwan, China, said he felt for the south Pacific islanders after seeing photos of rising water marks on the south Pacific island Tuvalu.

Guests at the wedding could only light a few candles during the lights-out.

Hahn Chu Hon-keung, environmental affairs manager of environmental group Friends of the Earth, said at least 142 buildings on both sides of Hong Kong's famous Victoria Harbor had their lights out for an hour starting from 8:30 p.m., including landmarks such as the city's highest skyscraper International Finance Center II.

The Bank of China Tower, HSBC Headquarters, the Legislative Council, the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center and the Time Square on the Hong Kong Island, the Brand Hong Kong dragon logo neon and the Olympic Rings in Tsim Sha Tsui, and many government buildings also joined the campaign by dimming at least the decorative lightings.

Hundreds of people had a lights-out party at Charter Garden on the Island, with some turning off environmental flash lights as they counted down to the lights-out.

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government also participated in the campaign by dimming lights at dozens of government buildings and canceling a famous neon lighting show that involved numerous skyscrapers on both sides of the harbor.

Chu said the campaign was the biggest lights out event ever held in Hong Kong, adding that it was a concerted demonstration against climate change and air pollution and calling on the public to join the campaign.

At least 70 other cities across Asia, including the Chinese mainland, China's Taiwan and Japan as well as South Korea, also joined the campaign, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency June 22, 2008)

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