Local MP, Caroline Dinenage, pledged her support for Earth Hour this week at a parliamentary reception hosted by the environmental charity, the WWF.
Earth Hour, which will take place from 8.30-9.30pm on the 25th of March, is a global initiative that encourages individuals, organisations and businesses to turn off their lights for one hour, one day a year. It is the world's largest climate change demonstration, and last year over 6 million people in the UK alone took part. Iconic landmarks across the country switched off their lights, from Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, to Brighton Pier, Edinburgh Castle and Caerphilly Castle.
The recent WWF Living Planet Report, which was published in 2016, shows that from 1970-2012 there has been a 58% decline in vertebrate numbers, and it is now estimated that climate change could lead to the extinction of 1 in 6 species.
The UK Government has consistently demonstrated its commitment to protecting the planet. When the UK passed the Climate Change Act in 2008, it became the first country in the world to set legally binding long term targets for reducing emissions. 25% of the UK's energy came from renewable sources last year, and more power came from solar panels than from coal stations in Britain between April and September 2016. The Prime Minister's ratification of the Paris Agreement last year signalled the Government's continued commitment to taking environmental issues seriously.
Commenting, Caroline said:
"We cannot take our planet for granted, and I know that the environment is a key concern for many of my constituents. I welcome the Government's hard work to develop environmentally sustainable practices for future generations. Environmental and economic progress are not just compatible - they depend on each other. Earth Hour is a great way of making a powerful point and I am sure this year's anniversary event will be a huge success."
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