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UK landmarks switch lights off to mark Earth Hour

The Palace of Westminster and the London Eye were among the UK landmarks to take part in the switch-off on Saturday night.

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

Famous buildings and structures across the country went dark between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on Saturday as part of the international event organised by conservation charity the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The Palace of Westminster and the London Eye were among the UK landmarks to take part in the initiative this year, along with international buildings from the Spasskaya Tower of the Moscow Kremlin to the Tokyo Tower in Japan.

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

WWF campaigns director Kate Norgrove said the charity has also asked people to reduce their environmental footprint – with advice available on the My Footprint app.

Buildings and Landmarks – Tokyo
The Tokyo Tower was one of the international landmarks to switch off for an hour at 8.30pm local time on Saturday for Earth Hour (John Walton/PA) 

“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.

“We’ve all been so much more connected to nature over this last year, and that’s been a fantastic thing, but we need to continue to protect it for future generations.”

Earth Hour 2021
Piccadilly Circus, in central London, before and after the light switch-off for Earth Hour on Saturday night (Yui Mok/PA) 

Ms Norgrove 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 said: “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.

“That’s what the most amazing thing is – by making one small action, and adding this to other small actions, we can change government and business for the better.”

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

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.

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