Cathy backs Earth Hour

On Saturday 28 March at 8.30pm individuals, businesses and public authorities in over 930 cities across 80 countries will turn off their lights for one hour in a graphic show of support for decisive action on climate change.

Across the world landmarks taking part include Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Table Mountain in Cape Town, Nelson’s Column in London and Christ the Redeemer statute in Rio de Janeiro. Here in Scotland, iconic landmarks already committed to switching off include the Forth Bridge, Edinburgh Castle and the Scottish Parliament.

2009 is a crucial year for climate change with world leaders meeting in Copenhagen in December to agree a new international climate deal that will come into force when the first phase of the Kyoto treaty expires in 2012. The Scottish Climate Change Bill is also currently being scrutinised by Cathy and her colleagues on the Scottish Parliament’s Transport Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee (of which Cathy is Deputy Convener).

Cathy said: “This is a tremendous challenge and an enormous opportunity for Scotland. The consequences of not rising to the challenge of climate change are far reaching and frankly, frightening. However, we have a chance to lead the way with our legislation and action by Scottish people. The Earth Hour will allow everyone to send a message of intent, to politicians and to each other, that we are serious about tackling climate change. I urge everyone to back the campaign – sign up and switch off to show you want action on climate change.”

Dr Richard Dixon, Director of WWF Scotland said: “WWF’s Earth Hour is a simple way for people to show their support for strong action on climate change. We very much welcome the support of MSPs and the participation of the Scottish Parliament itself. It promises to be the biggest show of support ever, involving communities from around the world in a dramatic hour of action on climate change.”

WWF’s Earth Hour lights-out initiative began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 as an awareness-raising exercise. In 2008, it went spectacularly global when more than 50 million people in more than 270 cities in over 35 countries turned off their lights for one hour in March. This year Earth Hour will be even bigger with towns and cities signing up across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For more information visit:

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