Council Celebrates Earth Hour Award

Earth Hour
(right to left): Provost and Leader of Inverness and Area Cllr Helen Carmichael, WWF Panda, Emilie Devenport WWF, Cllr Grahm Ross and pupils of Muirtown Primary School Eco School Committee

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Ahead of WWF's annual Earth Hour on Saturday 19 March 2016, The Highland Council is again celebrating after being awarded WWF Scotland's Earth Hour Local Authority Runner-up Award for its contribution to the success of Earth Hour in 2015.

Some of the Highland's best known landmarks, including Inverness and Eilean Donan Castles, joined the likes of the Eiffel Tower and Sydney Opera House in switching off for an hour last March. Globally, a record 162 countries participated.  

Cllr Helen Carmichael, Provost and Leader of Inverness and area, congratulated staff and Highland residents for making the initiative so successful. She said: “Earth Hour is such an important event in raising collective awareness of our need to focus on reducing carbon emissions worldwide. As such, this is an excellent award for Highland, and recognises the effort both our staff and residents have made in demonstrating their commitment to addressing climate change issues by taking part in this worthwhile initiative. I’d like to thank WWF Scotland for recognising the efforts made in Highland, and we are already planning activities for this year’s Earth Hour event.” 

She added: “For the ninth consecutive year, the Council is calling on local people and businesses to back WWF’s Earth Hour and support the collective effort in tackling climate change, and we will once again be switching off some of the most iconic landmarks in Highland, as well as organising fun events to raise awareness of important global issues. This year, we'd like to see more people than ever before in Highland switch off their lights off for an hour between 8.30pm and 9.30pm on 19 March.”

Rita McDaid, Head Teacher at Muirtown Primary, said: “Muirtown Primary is delighted to support WWF’s Earth Hour 2016.  During assembly our Eco Committee will be raising awareness and encouraging the whole school to turn off their lights for Earth Hour.  Many classes will also be learning about how climate change affects our planet in the run up to the event.  We’ll also be asking each class at the school to make a pledge explaining what they will be doing for Earth Hour, and beyond.”

WWF Scotland Director, Lang Banks, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be able to recognise Highland Council for all their ongoing efforts in support of our annual Earth Hour initiative. This award clearly demonstrates the massive commitment of the Council and its residents to tackling climate change and protecting our brilliant planet. We look forward to working with the Council again for Earth Hour 2016 in March.”

To celebrate Earth Hour 2016, the Council has arranged for the floodlighting to be switched off at key landmarks including Ruthven Barracks, Inverness Castle, Urquhart Castle and Eilean Donan Castle.  In addition, the Council’s Rangers will be hosting a special “Ghost Walk” in Grantown-on-Spey.

Councillor Audrey Sinclair, Chair of Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee, said: “We were delighted to hear that we have been recognised for our efforts in promoting and supporting WWF’s Earth Hour for the second consecutive year.  We are proud to be taking part for the ninth year in a row, and I would encourage as many Highland residents as possible to get involved, turn their lights off for an hour on 19th March and show their support for this important global event.”

To take part in WWF’s Earth Hour 2016, please register on the WWF Scotland website ( 

29 Feb 2016
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