Society 27/03/2021

At 2 AM it will be 3 AM: daylight saving time arrives

The decision to abolish daylight saving time is still being debated

1 min
A man changing the time on a clock in Germany.

BarcelonaToday is that day of the year when the clock robs us of an hour of sleep: at 2 AM we will jump straight to 3 AM to welcome daylight saving time. The time change is made just one week after the official start of spring in order to make better use of daylight hours and save energy. It is, however, a practice under debate that could be on its way out. In fact, the decision on whether to abolish it or not should have been taken in 2021 but, of course, the pandemic has altered everything. For the moment, the experts have not agreed on the matter.

In 2018 a citizens' consultation was held in the European Union in which 4.6 million citizens participated. 80% voted in favor of abolishing the twice-yearly early changeover. With these results, the European Parliament approved in 2019 to abolish this change by 2021 and urged all state governments to decide which timetable they wanted to keep.

The three options that were foreseen are the following: to remain on daylight saving time all year round, to remain on winter time all year round, or to maintain solar time, which in the case of Western European countries (Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Luxembourg) corresponds with Greenwich Mean Time Zone. Spain, however, has not yet taken any decision. That is why today at 2 AM it will be 3 AM, as has been the case in Europe since 1974.

Last year's was, however, a singular early change, in the middle of home lockdown. A situation that, as experts pointed out, could mean further commplications for the body to adapt to the new timetable. The lockdown situation had already burdened many routines and the changes in the clock were yet another more element of distortion.