On Saturday 25 March between 8.30-9.30pm, Parliament will be plunged into darkness, joining landmarks across the world in participating in Earth Hour 2017. All non-essential and external lights will be extinguished, in order 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 extinguished, and then switched back on again an hour later.
Parliament has long been committed to reducing its environmental impact, and has decreased its overall carbon footprint by 22% since 2008. Use of electricity has been reduced by 12%, gas by 10%, and water by 42%. This has been achieved through a combination of building modifications and raising awareness. Parliament also recycles 64% of its general waste.
Rt. Hon John Bercow MP, Speaker of the House of Commons said: “Earth Hour has become a firm fixture in the annual Parliamentary calendar, and we are rightly proud of this, as we are of our longstanding commitment to improving sustainability across the parliamentary estate. By turning out the lights for an hour, we hope to raise awareness and show that we are playing our part in combatting climate change.”
Lord Fowler, Lord Speaker, said: “Simple steps, such as ensuring lights in empty rooms are switched off, or turning off computer monitors for the night, make a real difference to Parliament's energy consumption. Our commitment to reducing our energy usage remains as strong as ever, and I am therefore delighted that we are once again participating in this year's Earth Hour.”
Image: Parliamentary copyright