Malaysia mall offers tickets to gas-guzzling F1 for Earth Hour

Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:51am EDT
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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters Life!) - A Malaysian mall is marking the global Earth Hour climate change initiative by dimming its lights -- and offering tickets to one of the world's most polluting sports to well-heeled shoppers.

More than 80 countries have signed up for Earth Hour on Saturday in which homes, office towers and landmarks such as Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium and New York's Empire State Building will turn off their lights from 8.30 pm local time.

"Earth Hour Specials 8.30 pm-9.30 pm, March 28th 2009: Free! A pair of F1 grandstand tickets when you spend 1,000 ringgit ($276.1) and above in a single receipt," said promotional posters placed around the six-level Suria KLCC complex.

Suria, adjacent to Malaysia's tallest buildings the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, plans to switch off "all non-essential lights" on Saturday night.

The Malaysian Grand Prix will be held in Sepang, south of the capital, on April 3-5.

The sport is arguably one of the least environmentally friendly because the cars burn up large amounts of fuel during races and as teams travel around the globe.

Earth Hour organizers are hoping for a billion people to switch off their lights to raise awareness about climate change and the threat from rising greenhouse gas emissions.

($1 = 3.622 Malaysian ringgit)

(Reporting by Loh Li Lian: Editing by David Fogarty and Valerie Lee)