Are you switching off your lights tonight?

Claudia Beamish MSP supports Earth Hour
Claudia Beamish MSP supports Earth Hour

South of Scotland MSP Claudia Beamish is encouraging everyone to take part in World Earth Hour, from 8.30pm tonight, Saturday.

“It sends a message that we are committed to helping our planet,” said Claudia, who is Scottish Labour's spokesperson for climate change. “It is an hour where we can reduce our carbon output and reflect on the changes we need to make if we really want to tackle climate change.”

This year’s campaign focuses on low-carbon heat.

South Lanarkshire Council has also signed up for Earth Hour, and will join thousands of people across Scotland and millions from around the world in switching off.

Many of the council's non-essential lights will be switched off to show support for the global campaign which is coordinated by WWF, the charitable organisation which promotes and protects the environment across the globe.

"We are encouraging everyone to sign up and think about what you can do for the hour, and beyond, to lessen your impact on the environment," said a council spokesman.

"Turning off the lights for an hour won’t solve climate change, but it highlights our commitment to take a lead and meet the challenges made by signing the Scottish Climate Change Declaration. We have again been awarded a ‘super local authority’ badge in recognition of the work we do in supporting and promoting the campaign.

"We hope as many people in South Lanarkshire as possible get involved and make the 10th anniversary of Earth Hour one for us all to remember."

Claudia is also looking to the future.

“Last week in the Scottish Parliament I spoke on the Draft Climate Change Plan," she said. "I highlighted the importance of getting this right as it will be our proposals and polices until 2032. By then children in primary one will be in early adulthood so this really is about protecting our planet for future generations," said Claudia.

“We must ensure that they can benefit from warm homes and green spaces in urban communities. We need to promote good, integrated public transport to reduce our reliance on cars. We need to provide safe cycling and walking routes and so must more."