On Saturday 24 March between 8.30-9.30pm, Parliament will switch off the lights, joining landmarks across the world participating in Earth Hour 2018. All non-essential internal and external lights will be extinguished to raise awareness about the need for action on climate change.
Spectators will be able to watch from Westminster Bridge as the Palace lights are turned off, and then switched back on again an hour later.
Parliament’s environmental policy commits to reducing carbon emissions and the consumption of energy and water, conserving natural resources and minimising the use of harmful substances. It additionally pledges to reduce waste generation and avoid landfill by reusing and recycling as well as preventing pollution and reducing emissions.
Reducing energy consumption
Parliament has long been committed to reducing its environmental impact, and has decreased its overall carbon footprint by 32.1 % since 2008/09. Use of electricity has been reduced by 13%, gas by 3%, and water by 43.7%.
Parliament also recycles 64% of its general waste. These significant improvements have been achieved through a combination of building modifications and awareness raising.
Thoughts from the Speakers
Rt. Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons said: “By taking part in Earth Hour, as Parliament does every year, we demonstrate our longstanding commitment to improving sustainability across the parliamentary estate and beyond. In switching off our lights for an hour, we can raise awareness of climate change and play our part in reducing energy consumption.”
Lord Fowler, Lord Speaker, said: “Parliament’s carbon footprint has already been reduced by almost a third since 2008, an achievement we are very proud of. We hope that by turning out non-essential lights in our iconic building we will inspire people to take similar simple steps in their own offices and homes to make a real difference to the environment.”
Earth Hour 2018
Essential lighting on Elizabeth Tower / Big Ben will remain on during Earth Hour 2018 for security and safety purposes.
For more information about WWF’s Earth Hour 2018, you can visit their website here. Join in the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #EarthHourUK.