Riga Municipality will again this year take part in the largest global campaign “Earth Hour” organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature On Saturday, 25 March, from 20:30, the decorative lighting of the Freedom Monument and the square, as well as the lighting in several municipal institutions and companies will be symbolically switched off for one hour.

“Earth Hour is all about drawing attention to the global climate crisis and showing that every action has an impact and consequences. With this symbolic and world-uniting action, we show our commitment to efficient and considerate management of natural resources and that we care about nature and the world we live in,” said Selina Vancane (Selīna Vancāne), Chair of the Housing and Environment Committee of Riga City Council.

The lights will be switched off in the buildings of the Central Administration of the Riga Municipality – in the City Hall, in several registry offices and in the premises of the Neighbourhood Population Centre in 28 Dzirciema Street, 43a Ieriķu Street, 4b Aglonas Street and 46 E. Smiļģa Street.

The municipal company “Rīgas nami” will switch off the facade lighting for the Blackheads House and the cinema “Splendid Palace”. The lighting will also be switched off in the external area of Riga Maternity Hospital, where the lack of light does not endanger the safety of patients.

The “Earth Hour” initiative has already become a traditional annual activity of the municipal company “Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks”, which invites people to turn off the lights in the buildings it manages. “Even a one-off action like this can make a difference – it can draw all of our attention to protecting nature, to being more responsible with our use of resources. However, the most important thing is to be aware that the “Earth Hour” must be observed every day – switching off lights in rooms where you are not staying; ventilating rooms properly; sorting waste; and finally, deciding to renovate buildings in the direction of energy efficiency,” the company points out.

JSC (AS) “Rīgas siltums” will reduce lighting in four heating plants, an automatic gas boiler house and administrative buildings, drawing public attention to climate change and demonstrating the company’s commitment to environmentally friendly behaviour in everyday life.  Participation in “Earth Hour” is expected to reduce electricity consumption by more than 30 kW. The greenest, cheapest and most independent energy is the energy we did not consume, which is why the company is calling for the insulation of buildings and the redesign of heating systems to efficiently regulate heat in the home.

By participating in “Earth Hour” Riga will stand in solidarity with many other world capitals to show unity and commitment to tackling the climate crisis.

On “Earth Hour” the World Wide Fund for Nature invites you to go outdoors, both on organized hikes and individually, to explore Latvia's natural diversity and raise awareness of its importance. Everyone is invited to get involved, disconnect from their daily routine and dedicate an hour to the Earth, whether it is hiking, learning about nature’s processes, cooking dinner with sustainably sourced produce or gathering friends for an “Earth Hour” event. 

“Earth Hour” started in Sydney in 2007 and has grown to become the world’s largest environmental campaign, inspiring individuals, communities, businesses and organisations in more than 190 countries and territories to take meaningful environmental actions.

Information prepared by: Martins Vilemsons (Mārtiņš Vilemsons), Project Coordinator at External Communication Division of Riga City Council, e-mail: martins.vilemsons@riga.lv.