|London’s Southbank during the Earth Hour switch-off in 2015. Photo credit: WWF-UK Media Centre.|
By Anders Lorenzen
Following trends in recent years, several iconic UK and global landmarks have pledged to switch their lights off for WWF’s annual Earth Hour event.
WWF’s flagship event has grown exponentially since first launched in 2007, with the aim to highlight energy conservation and climate change.
UK’s capital London will again this year play a key role in the event with several landmarks and organisations having pledged their support: Big Ben, The Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, The Shard, The London Eye, OXO Tower, Piccadilly Circus and The Gherkin, while outside London the home of Manchester United FC, Old Trafford, and Edinburgh Castle are among the hundreds of buildings who have confirmed to switch off.
Globally a total of 172 countries has pledged support for the event and over 700 landmarks have confirmed that they will join. It is expected landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, New York’s Time Square, and the Hong Kong Skyline, who joined in 2015, will join again this year.
And the event has even won the support away from Planet Earth as the first British astronaut at the International Space Station, Tim Peake tweeted this in support:
Planet Earth is beautiful. Protect it & take part in @wwf #EarthHour Saturday 19 March 20:30 https://t.co/6AYXG2bEgshttps://t.co/qcgqHfXr1m
— Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) March 17, 2016
WWF have made food a key issue in this year’s event and are encouraging people to take part in low carbon and sustainable food options that are good for the planet. They have teamed up with celebrity chef’s who have created a series of specially themed recipes. The UK chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who in a series of high-profile TV programmes have campaigned against food waste said: “the food we eat – and the way it is grown and transported – has a huge impact on our planet. There are many things we can do to make that impact more positive: opting for local and seasonal foods, for instance, for eating less meat.” While British Chinese food writer and TV chef Ching He-Huang called for reducing meat intake: “we all have a role to play in protecting our planet but sometimes it’s hard to know how to help. It may seem obvious but if we all make tiny changes to our diet, together we can make a huge difference. Things, like buying more local produce or having a couple of meat-free days, can have a lasting impact on our planet.”
Several of UK’s high profile politicians have also pledged their support, with the list including the former leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, who are making fighting climate change his top priority, establishing collaborations and cross-party support for the issue. Current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also pledged his support and so has the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP), Nicola Sturgeon, and the outgoing conservative Mayor of London, Boris Johnson as well as over a 100 MP’s.
Earth Hour will take place between 20:30 – 21:30 tomorrow (Saturday the 19th of March), across the planet, and you can find an event near you here.
Never miss a story, sign up to our weekly newsletter: