Stockport switch off: Residents urged to turn lights out in support of ‘Earth Hour’ climate change awareness project

By Matt Davies

Parts of Stockport will descend into darkness as part of Earth Hour, a worldwide campaign to raise awareness of climate change.

On Saturday March 23, Stockport Town Hall’s external lighting will be switched off for an hour between 8.30-9.30pm as part of the World Wildlife Fund’s event.

Councillor Stuart Bodsworth, executive member for sustainable futures, said employees and residents across the town are being encouraged to take part by turning off all non-essential lighting.

“We are delighted to be supporting Earth Hour 2013 and hope it succeeds in sending a powerful message to people to take positive action on climate change,” he said.

“We ask that Stockport residents think about how they could reduce the amount of power they use, saving them money and helping the environment.

“Even small changes such as recycling more, switching off lights and insulating your home can make a real difference.”

The concept took off in 2007 when Sydney plunged itself into blackness and in the five years since the idea has spiralled, reaching all corners of the globe.

It aims to highlight the impact of the high energy planet in which everyone lives and emphasize the need for action.

Pop band McFly have pledged their support to Earth Hour while the London Eye is the latest in a series of Britain’s landmarks to turn off the lights.

Last year 7,000 cities in 152 countries took part in Earth Hour, and the WWF are hopeful that hundreds of millions of people will take part again this year.

Speaking at the launch of Earth Hour 2013 in Singapore in February, CEO and co-founder Andy Ridley highlighted the aim of this year’s project.

“Earth Hour has always been more than a lights off campaign and we are now seeing some extraordinary environmental outcomes on the way to achieving our long-term vision,” he said.

In 2012 iconic venues across the globe including the Taj Mahal, Sydney Opera House and London’s Big Ben all descended into darkness as part of the campaign.

And this year is going to be no different according to Ridley, who insisted worldwide actions during Earth Hour can act to influence future environmental actions.

“These outcomes both evidence the power of our collective action and the potential for future outcomes for the environment, generated by hundreds of millions of people coming together as part of the Earth Hour movement,” he added.

Picture courtesy of Wiki Commons, with thanks

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