ON SATURDAY evening, lights will be going off all over the country at 8.30pm as people show their support for World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour which highlights the impact of climate change on people and wildlife.
Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia with 2.2 million individuals and more than 2,000 businesses turning their lights off for one hour to draw attention to the use and waste of light energy, and how we can all make change.
By 2010, 128 countries and territories had joined the global display of climate action, and iconic buildings and landmarks from Asia Pacific to Europe and Africa to the Americas switched off.
Last year millions of people in 134 countries worldwide took part and the lights went out in Sydney Opera House and the Eiffel Tower.
This year, in addition to the lights going out at iconic Scottish locations, including Edinburgh Castle, WWF is encouraging community groups and local organisations to join in the fun.
With it being a weekend, businesses and organisations may not be open for Earth Hour and it has been suggested that you have it at an earlier or later time.
For example Scottish Borders Council, who are taking part for the third year say: “As many of our employees will not be at work at this time, we are supporting in advance - between 11am and noon on Friday, March 30.”
A number of Berwickshire schools have so far signed up to take part: Berwickshire High School; Ayton Primary School; Chirnside Primary; Cockburnspath Primary; Coldstream Primary; Westruther Primary. Dunbar Grammar School and Dunbar Primary are also taking part.
SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Paul Wheelhouse is supporting Earth Hour and is urging constituents, businesses and organisations to switch off on Saturday, March 31, at 8.30pm for one hour in demonstration of their support for action against the impacts of climate change on people and wildlife.
Paul said; “I am delighted to lend my support to this campaign, as just this week I spoke in what is believed to be the first ever Parliamentary debate anywhere in the World on climate justice, to highlight the critical challenge we all face in terms of the effects of climate change.
“I was keen to point out that nobody is immune to the effects of climate change, so I would encourage all my constituents to get involved with WWF’s Earth Hour and raise awareness. By switching our lights off for one hour at 8.30pm on Saturday, March 31, we can join with our friends across the world in highlighting an issue that remains high on the list of priorities for many nations and stand together to show solidarity in our fight against it.
“Climate change, and its potential impacts upon international order, is now one of the principal threats to our own national security.
Dr Richard Dixon, director of WWF Scotland said: “WWF’s Earth Hour is a simple way for people to show their support for strong action on climate change. MSPs are leaders in their communities and their support is very welcome.
“It’s reassuring that climate change remains on the political agenda here in Scotland, with the local council elections just round the corner. As well as politicians, business and local authorities, we hope lots of individuals and community groups feel inspired to take part too.
“Julie Rankine, SBC’s waste strategy and campaign manager, said: “This new campaign is aimed at all SBC staff and buildings, and encourages increased efficiency and reduced wastage in relation to three key themes - energy and water, waste and recycling, and travel and transport.
“Supporting Earth Hour this year helps us to kick off our campaign with the first theme, energy.”