Leeds to switch off for Earth Hour
Prominent buildings in Leeds are switching off their lights for Earth Hour on 24 March 8.30pm - 9.30pm.
The University of Leeds, Leeds City Council and ITV Emmerdale studios are all switching off lights in a show of symbolic solidarity for the planet.
At the University of Leeds, the Sustainability Service has liaised with the University's estates team to ensure that the iconic Parkinson Building on Woodhouse Lane will be turning off exterior lights. The University's multi-storey car park and Laidlaw Library (also on Woodhouse Lane) will have their exterior lights switched off too (although some have to be left on for safety and security purposes).
As well as switching off lights on Saturday, the University is pledging to reduce energy use in its labs and libraries by replacing older equipment with more efficient models. It is also is also working to reduce heat loss throughout buildings so that less energy is used all year round as part of its sustainability strategy. A Carbon Management Plan is in place to reduce the University's emissions by 35% by 2020 (read more here).
Leeds City Council, which, like the University, has previously switiched off or dimmed lights on key buildings, will be taking part again this year, with over 2,000 council owned buildings going dark for the whole weekend and Civic Hall switching off lights inside and outside during Earth Hour. Leeds Town Hall, which has a concert on, will have its lights dimmed manually during Earth Hour.
The council will also use the opportunity to do an analysis and comparison of power consumption and related carbon dioxide emissions on 24 March with a similar period to see what impact it makes.
ITV in Leeds is taking part too and will be switching off its external lights on the Kirkstall Road studio for Earth Hour, as well as on other northern ITV properties. The ITV company is training staff on cutting carbon through a Carbon Literacy programme and has already undertaken a suite of initiatives on the production of Emmerdale, including introducing a fleet of electric vehicles and changing over from hot inefficient tungsten lights to energy saving LEDs.
Earth Hour is a global initiative from WWF to encourage awareness of environmental sustainability, species extinction and climate change. In 2017, over 9 million people took part in the UK alone.
As well as switching off lights, individuals, companies and organisations are being asked to make a commitment from a range of promises, including switching to renewable energy, tackling food waste, becoming flexitarian and driving EVs.
Sign up, make a promise and mark your activity on the map at WWF's Earth Hour website, https://www.wwf.org.uk/earthhour.
Main image: the Parkinson Building, lit up here, will go dark for Earth Hour