Earth Hour will be celebrated in a big way in the United Kingdom, with several well-known landmarks dimming their lights from 8.30 to 9.30 pm on Saturday, 28th March. Buckingham Palace, London Bridge, Manchester Opera House, the Royal Albert Hall, the Gherkin skyscraper, and scores of other landmarks across the country will go dark this evening.
If you want to help focus minds on climate change, you can join the rest of the world by switching the lights off in your home or office from 8.30 to 9.30 pm local time.
Earth Hour participants aim to contribute to real climate change solutions to address what a growing number of scientists say is our planet’s greatest environmental threat.
HRH The Prince of Wales is an avid supporter of Earth Hour. (Image: WWF)
HRH The Prince of Wales says he is taking part in what he describes as the world’s largest environmental event, by turning off all non-essential lighting at his residences.
HRH The Prince of Wales said in a video hosted by WWF:
“Earth hour is exactly what it says it is. One hour for the world to think about this extraordinary planet that sustains us all. At 8.30pm on Saturday the 28th of March, hundreds of millions of people from across the world will come together and switch off their lights in a spectacular display.”
“It is a symbolic and powerful reminder that together we have the power to change things. It should also remind us that we do not have much time in which to make those changes.”
“If everyone in the world consumed natural resources at the rate we do in the United Kingdom, we would need three planets, not just one, to support us.”
The UK Department for Energy and Climate Change has also been showing its support for Earth Hour this week and encouraging members of the public to join.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey, said:
“It’s time for everyone to recognise that climate change will touch just about everything we do, and everything we care about. Earth Hour is an excellent opportunity for millions of people across the world to take one simple step to show they’re serious about backing action on climate change.”
“Businesses, communities, schools and millions of individuals across the world will be taking part and I will again be ensuring that the UK Government stands with them.”
According to Glasgow City Council:
“To mark the occasion in Glasgow, lights will be switched off at venues including the City Chambers, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Riverside Museum, the Clyde Arc bridge, the Mitchell Library, Winter Gardens and the Doulton Fountain. Pupils in city primary schools are also taking part in an Earth Hour poem competition.”
2015 a record-breaking celebration
The World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), which organizes Earth Hour, says 2015 is set to be a record-breaking celebration, with 172 countries and territories participating, including countries that will be most directly affected by global warming – the Maldives, Madagascar and the Philippines – as well as key actors – the European Union, the US, China, and Brazil.
Earth Hour famously started in Sydney, Australia, in 2007. Since then it has turned into a colossal, global, grassroots movement for the environment, raising public awareness and action on climate in more than seven thousand cities.
Famous landmarks worldwide, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris (above), are dimming their lights for one hour.
From Australia to China, Nigeria, UK, Canada to Chile, offices, homes, monuments and skylines will dim their lights as the world expresses solidarity and calls on individuals, businesses and policymakers to take action to “change climate change”.
Every major city on Earth will be taking part. In Paris the Eiffel Tower will go dark this evening, as will the Empire State Building in New York, which will be reduced to “a faint sparkle in honor of Earth Hour.”
The WWF says that almost forty UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Teotihuacan pyramids in Mexico, the Acropolis in Athens, and Edinburgh Castle in Scotland will participate in the one-hour event.
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Earth Hour Global, Sudhanshu Sarronwala, said:
“As Earth Hour continues to break records for global participation, our supporters continue to reach new heights for energy and creativity in using their power to make a difference.”
“Every light switch turned off, every signature collected and every project funded, gives us renewed hope that together we can change climate change.”
Impact of Earth Hour
Even before March 28th sees twenty-four episodes of dimming through the planet’s different time zones, the WWF claims its teams have already made progress, thanks to the impact of Earth Hour, to drive concrete action and solutions on climate change.
The WWF says:
“From collecting 100,000 signatures to urge a ban on the exploration of Arctic oil in Russia to reducing people’s dependency on firewood and forests by building sustainable livelihoods in Uganda, Earth Hour is empowering people to be a part of a global movement to take climate action.”
“In past months, Earth Hour supporters have also used their power on the Earth Hour crowdfunding platform to help build community climate resilience in India, Indonesia, Colombia and Portugal. WWF teams are also building on Earth Hour’s potential to inspire action from individuals, businesses and governments by advocating climate-friendly policy and legislation on themes such as access to renewable energy and reforestation.”
Earth Hour shows what we collectively can achieve “From creating a forest in Uganda to lighting up entire villages with solar power in India and the Philippines, the power of the crowd to make change happen is phenomenal. With Earth Hour, every light switch turned off is hope for climate action turned on,” he said.
If we are really serious about combatting climate change effectively, we will have to do more than just switch off our lights for one hour each year, WWF says, measures must be taken throughout the year.
“As Earth Hour brings temporary darkness to many of the world’s most recognizable landmarks, WWF hopes to shed permanent light on the power each individual has to change climate change.”
“You can see how events are happening near you at Earth Hour Tracker – you can even create your own Earth Hour activity.”
WWF Video – Earth Hour