Residents across Derbyshire are being urged to join millions of people around the globe and flick the switch for Earth Hour.
Derbyshire County Council is backing the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) campaign to get people to switch their lights off for an hour and show how much they care about the effects of climate change.
The event, which will be held from 8.30pm on March 31, aims to send a clear message to world leaders.
Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing people and nature, and requires urgent global action.
Unless we prevent average temperatures rising 2°C above pre-industrial levels, there is a high risk of severe and irreversible changes in the planet’s natural systems.
Councillor John Allsop, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for technology and recycling, said: “Climate change affects us all and we all need to act now to help minimise the effects in the future.
“By switching off their lights for an hour, people in Derbyshire can show their support and send out a clear message that people care about climate change and urgent action is needed.”
The county council is aiming to reduce its carbon emissions by 25 per cent by 2014/15 based on 2008/09 levels. To help cut carbon it has:
* signed up to the Government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment to improve energy efficiency and cut emissions
* loaned energy monitors to more than 4,000 households, helping them to save on average 0.3 tonnes of carbon and £70 a year on energy costs. The monitors can be loaned from libraries and was extended to Derbyshire businesses last year.
* decided to spend £200,000 on solar panels for county council buildings and a further £300,000 to install them in schools
* been working with The Carbon Trust and councils across the East Midlands on a pilot energy efficiency and carbon reduction programme for schools. Ten Derbyshire schools have been selected to take part in the programme which aims to reduce their energy use by up to 10 per cent.
* worked with partners to deliver the Warmstreets insulation scheme which offers homeowners loft insulation installation from just £49 and cavity wall insulation for £99, subject to a survey. People aged over 70 or on certain benefits may qualify for free insulation. For more information visit www.warmstreets.co.uk
* worked with Global Action Plan to provide deliver energy efficiency and sustainability training across Derbyshire. Around 200 people have signed up to the online Derbyshire Eco Challenge which offers tips and advice every month for six months to help change people’s behaviour.