28 March 2014
Article by Chloe Corbyn, National Assembly for Wales Research Service
8.30pm on Saturday 29 March 2014 will mark the 8th annual Earth Hour, an event organised by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) that encourages individuals, businesses and governments to turn off all non-essential lights for 1 hour as a symbol of commitment to the planet. From its beginnings in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has grown year on year, and is now marked in 150 countries and 7000 towns and cities worldwide.
The aim of Earth Hour is to engage a wide variety of people and organisations on a broad range of environmental issues and to show their commitment to taking responsibility for their ecological footprint. It does not profess to be an energy or carbon reduction exercise –it is intended as a symbolic action.
In Wales, 2013 Earth Hour was supported by 200 schools, half of local authorities and 18 Assembly Members. The Senedd and Wales Millennium Centre were among landmark buildings plunged into darkness. This year, ten Welsh buildings are ‘going dark’ including the Senedd, St David’s Hotel, the National Library of Wales and Castell Coch. 2014 Earth Hour in Wales is being linked to the national conversation on #thewaleswewant that was launched in February. Wishes for a sustainable Wales (#welshwish) asks people how they want the forthcoming Future Generations Bill to lead Wales towards the One Planet Wales objective of using only our fair share of the earth’s resources. To date there have been 429 ‘wishes’ made on the site.