The Houses of Parliament, along with landmarks around the world, will be plunged into darkness for one hour, turning out all non-essential and external lights in order to raise awareness about climate change. Spectators will be able to watch from Westminster Bridge as the Palace lights are extinguished, and then switched back on again an hour later.
Parliament has reduced its environmental impact over the past years, decreasing its carbon footprint by 22% since 2008. Electricity use has gone down by 15%, gas by 23% and water consumption by 40%. Parliament also recycles 62% of its general waste. These changes have been achieved by making modifications to buildings and systems, as well as raising awareness.
Rt. Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons said:
"Parliament has made real progress in improving its sustainability over the past years, and Earth Hour has become a proud annual tradition in the Parliamentary calendar. By turning out the lights for an hour, we are helping to promote the idea of sustainability encourage awareness of the responsibilities of our interconnected global community."
Rt. Hon Baroness D’Souza, Lord Speaker, said: Rt. Hon Baroness D’Souza, Lord Speaker, said:
"Through initiatives such as ensuring lights are switched off in empty rooms to turning computer monitors off at night, Parliament is working hard to reduce its energy usage. I am really pleased to be able to reaffirm our commitment to minimising our energy consumption and delighted that once again Parliament is able to support Earth Hour."