Government ads claim climate change is the single biggest challenge


The Minister for the Environment, Heritage & Local Government, Mr. John Gormley, T.D., has launched the consumer communication aspect of the Government’s climate change campaign.

The 'Change' campaign has two key and overriding imperatives - firstly to change how people in Ireland think about climate change and, secondly, to encourage everyone to change how they behave.

The communications campaign includes a comprehensive website, a lo-call information line - 1890-242 643 - and advertising - all of which are backed-up by an extensive stakeholder engagement process that is working with all sectors to change behaviour and reduce Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions with a view to halting climate change.

Market research conducted by Behaviour & Attitudes on behalf of the Change campaign has found that 82% of people are concerned about the impact of climate change on Ireland. The Change campaign will encourage everyone to change how they behave - at home, at work and in the community. This approach has been endorsed by the public - with 95% saying it is up to everyone individually to play their part in tackling global warming.

The first phase of the advertising element of the Change campaign started with a 60-second television advertisement to motivate and inspire people to get involved in Ireland’s plan of action on climate change.  The advertisement opens with footage of Eamon De Valera and Michael Collins and continues with scenes showing challenges that Ireland has faced since the foundation of the State. These include scenes of emigration in the 1950s, UN peace keeping and humanitarian involvement overseas, the Peace Process and economic development. The voice-over tells viewers that climate change is 'The single biggest challenge that we face' and that 'our response will define us as a generation'.  The advertisement ends with the call to action - 'Change Your World; Change the World'.

“We reached this approach after a lengthy process of consultation and research with people from across the country and from all backgrounds. We found that people often think the size of the challenge is overwhelming” - said Minister Gormley. “We need people to understand that we are capable of meeting the challenge of climate change."

The Minister added - "We have tackled major challenges in the past - like the Emigration, Unemployment and the Peace Process. What Ireland does about climate change matters. What we each do in our own lives at work, at home and in our communities, influences and motivates others and we will, together, contribute to the global solution.

“Our research indicates that most people in Ireland are aware of climate change, accept the science that climate change is a reality and have a sense of the seriousness of the issue” - Minister Gormley continued. “People are telling us that they want guidance on what they can do to prevent climate change. People need to change how they think, change how they behave and the Change campaign is going to show people at an individual level and across all of the sectors, how.”

An extensive stakeholder engagement programme is well underway and aims to galvanise organisations across large industry, SMEs, the public sector, education, agriculture, construction and tourism - with information and knowledge to change their behaviour in order to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Seminars will be held throughout the campaign - starting this month - to inform and to show people how to change their work practices in order to contribute to a solution to climate change.

“There is a lot that we can each do in our homes, our community and our workplace. We need a national collective response at every level of society to address this challenge, but it can be done. While the government can - and is - taking the lead, it is the positive response at an individual, family, community and sectoral level that will create real change” - said Minister Gormley.

To find out what you can do to Change Your World, visit - - or, lo-call 1890-CHANGE (1890-242 643).

Seminars for the public sector, business, education, tourism, construction and agriculture are open for booking at - Click Here - and are taking place as follows -

  • Galway - Wednesday 23rd April 2008
  • Cork - Wednesday 30th April 2008
  • Dublin - Thursday 1st May 2008 - and
  • Online on 7th May (accessible from any location with web access).

Scientists and governments across the world are all agreed that climate change is happening. Climate change threatens our environmental, economic and social well-being and it has been caused by man-made emissions - which, if continue to grow, will have potentially catastrophic, worldwide effects.

The Change campaign is being led by the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government on behalf of the Government.