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26 March 2010

Lights out for WWF’S Earth Hour

The Scottish Government will join millions across the world in switching off lights for one hour from 8.30pm on Saturday night to mark WWF's Earth Hour in a gesture of support for action on climate change.

Lights will be turned off in main government buildings, although essential lighting will remain on across the estate for health and safety reasons.

Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson said:

"The Scottish Government is delighted to back WWF's Earth Hour once again. In a year when many are still dwelling on the disappointing outcome of the climate change talks in Copenhagen, it is important that we demonstrate our continued level of commitment on reducing carbon with an initiative which has a truly global impact.

"Our world-leading Climate Change Act with its target to cut emissions by 42 per cent by 2020 is challenging but achievable and in doing so we will create a cleaner, greener Scotland with a thriving low carbon economy. We are committed to leading by example and to encouraging others in the public sector to do the same.

"This year, under the terms of the Act, we are required to identify actions people in Scotland can take to personally contribute to achieving Scotland's climate change targets. We will be making an announcement on this later in the year but, in the meantime, each person in Scotland typically contributes twice the global average in terms of greenhouse gas emissions produced as a result of our everyday behaviour. Small changes in our daily lives will not only help reduce emissions but can contribute towards a healthier lifestyle, improve our environment and offer real financial savings.

"WWF's Earth Hour provides an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to tackling climate change in a simple yet effective way. And I will be taking part personally by switching my lights off for an hour tomorrow night."

Permanent Secretary Sir John Elvidge said:

"I am delighted to support WWF's Earth Hour for the second year in a row. It is particularly pleasing to see more and more organisations across Scotland following suit this year.

"The Scottish Government is playing its part in creating a Greener Scotland. Across the estate we are doing a number of things to improve our own performance - such as implementing our Carbon Management Plan and promoting sustainable business travel. Whilst the Scottish Government aims to lead by example, we are aware that we must all take individual action to reduce our impact on the environment.

"Once again, WWF's Earth Hour is giving us an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and raise awareness of climate change."

Director of WWF Scotland Dr Richard Dixon welcomed the Scottish Government's support for Earth Hour. He said:

"It is great news that the Scottish Government is again supporting WWF's Earth Hour. This year's event has really captured the public's imagination with a record number of sign-ups, including 27 local authorities which have agreed to switch off non-essential lighting in Council owned buildings and on prominent monuments.

"Those taking part will join hundreds of millions across the world in over 200 cities in over 100 countries in sending a message to world leaders and decision makers that they care about people and wildlife affected by climate change."

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