Landmarks across UK switch off lights to mark Earth Hour

27 March 2021, 23:10

The lights on the London Eye turned off during Earth Hour
The lights on the London Eye turned off during Earth Hour. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Landmarks across the UK switched their lights off on Saturday to mark this year's Earth Hour.

The Palace of Westminster and the London Eye were among the landmarks that went dark between 8.30pm and 9.30pm as part of the international event organised by conservation charity the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

International buildings from the Spasskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin to the Tokyo Tower in Japan also took part.

The initiative aims to encourage people to turn off their electrical appliances for an hour, and think about the impact humans are having on the planet through climate change, pollution, plastic and food production.

The Palace of Westminster also went dark on Saturday
The Palace of Westminster also went dark on Saturday. Picture: PA

WWF campaigns director Kate Norgrove said the charity has also asked people to reduce their environmental footprint.

"Use your voice - tell your friends about the climate and nature crisis that we're all facing," she said.

"Discuss together how you can change your own footprint, and how you can ask the Government, both locally and nationally, to do more for the planet and our nature all around us."

Advice is available on the My Footprint app, Ms Norgrove said.

The Spasskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin
The Spasskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin. Picture: PA

She said she believes individual actions such as switching to a renewable energy supplier, opting for a meat-free diet, buying second-hand, and letting wildflowers grow in gardens where possible can push governments closer to making greener choices too.

She added: "I think it's these individual actions that people can take, that over time will create a groundswell of approval and the space in which governments and businesses can make the right choices."

Last year's Earth Hour resulted in a 3.5% reduction in electrical demand for the Palace of Westminster and Portcullis House.

Tokyo Tower with its lights turned off
Tokyo Tower with its lights turned off. Picture: PA

Ahead of the switch-off, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, said: "It's fantastic news that Parliament once again is taking part in Earth Hour, joining landmarks across the country and the world to raise awareness of climate change.

"It shows our commitment to improving sustainability across the entire parliamentary estate, and that we're playing our part in reducing energy consumption."

Established in 2007 by the WWF, the event engages millions of people in more than 180 countries and territories.