Earth Hour in Edinburgh
Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. In 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome's Colosseum, the Sydney Opera House and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square all stood in darkness.
In 2009, Earth Hour moved to the next level, with buildings in thousands of cities and towns - including Edinburgh - switching off their lights as part of a global "vote for Planet Earth."
In 2010, Earth Hour saw a larger wave of darkness roll across the planet, with 134 countries and territories taking part: thousands of cities across all 7 continents, 8 out of the 10 most populated cities, 25 of the world’s megacities and 79 capital cities. Every Scottish city and Scottish local authority took part in Earth Hour.
Headed by WWF, Earth Hour returns in March, and as before anyone can participate simply by switching off the lights and powering down their energy.
Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish Parliament building, and the Forth Rail Bridge are among the landmark places that go dark each year for the 60 minutes, joining other landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Empire State Building.
Other buildings in the Scottish capital that switch off for Earth Hour include Edinburgh City Council's Waverley Court HQ, the City Chambers, the Scott Monument, Calton Hill monuments, Burns Monument, our Dynamic Earth, and St John's Church.
The intention of Earth Hour, is to encourage people and government in the drive to reduce carbon emissions.
Scotland currently has some of the most ambitious emissions targets in the world. The Climate Change (Scotland) Act (2009) set a long-term target to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), relative to 42% by 2020 and by 80% by 2050 by 1990.