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Lights out: Twin Cities to go dark for energy conservation

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Minneapolis and St. Paul will be turning out the lights on Saturday night to encourage energy conservation.

Across the globe, cities will turn out the lights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (in their respective time zones) for Earth Hour, and St. Paul and Minneapolis are encouraging residents to join in.

The Minnesota State Capitol, the Landmark Center, Rice Park, the Xcel Energy Center, the Ramsey County Courthouse and Wells Fargo Place, are among the many buildings that will go dark this year, the city of St. Paul says on its website. Minneapolis says it will turn off lights on the Stone Arch Bridge, the City Hall clock tower's neon lights, and lights in major municipal buildings, according to the city's website.

In 2012, 42 percent of greenhouse gas pollution – which contributes to global climate change – in Minneapolis came from electricity, the city says, and it has set a target of reducing citywide carbon emissions by 15 percent by 2015 and 30 percent by 2025.

Earth Hour is a worldwide event that started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. Since then, it has grown from a national observance to an international one. It bills itself as the “largest symbolic mass participation event in the world.”

Last year, a record 154 countries and territories joined in the initiative to encourage people to make daily energy-saving changes, the Associated Press says.

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