Homes and landmarks set to switch off lights for Earth Hour

Households and landmarks across the globe are being asked to switch off their lights to mark this year’s Earth Hour.

Famous buildings and structures will go dark between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on Saturday, as part of the international event organised by WWF to urge action to save the planet.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the conservation charity said it is not organising public gatherings – instead, supporters are encouraged to join in with online events.

A number of landmarks across England are expected to take part in the grassroots movement, including London’s The Shard, Blackpool Tower and Old Trafford in Manchester.

The annual hour of darkness aims to highlight the impact humans are having on the planet through climate change, pollution, plastic and food production.

Katie White, executive director of advocacy and campaigns at WWF-UK, said: “These are really unprecedented times, and I know a lot of people are looking for ways to connect and feel connected.

“In this global health crisis, now is a pivotal time for us to work together to safeguard our future and the future of our planet.”

Bristol’s Clifton Suspension Bridge will go dark, while London hotspots like Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden – which have been deserted in the past week due to the Covid-19 outbreak – are also expected to take part.

Tower Bridge in London went dark for Earth Hour, last year (PA Wire)
Tower Bridge in London went dark for Earth Hour last year (PA)

More than 7,000 cities in some 170 countries were estimated to have taken part last year.

WWF is also encouraging supporters to join in online by tagging #EarthHour, while the organisation said it is running a series of virtual events – such as a silent disco and a Facebook quiz.

Ms White said: “While – first and foremost – our thoughts are with those affected by coronavirus, and those who are working so hard in healthcare and other vital services, many millions of us are working and operating from our homes.

“Taking part in Earth Hour this year feels very timely – a time when millions unite around the world to show they care about the future of our planet.

“In these difficult times, It’s an opportunity to inspire hope.”