Launched by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Environment Minister John Gormley, the campaign will see the government working together with business, farming, forestry, the tourism sector, the public sector, local communities and the general public in order to increase awareness of climate change and to lower emissions.

The Change Plan of Action will include an information campaign to help businesspeople and others understand the impacts of climate change, and will work towards better green procurement and carbon management within the public sector, business and industry.

“While Ireland accounts for a relatively small proportion of global emissions, we have as much a responsibility as any country to reduce our impact on the world’s climate,” said Mr Ahern.

“We must work together to tackle the challenges of climate change and seize the opportunities that it presents.”

He added that Ireland intends to help the EU achieve its goal of lowering emissions to at least 20% below 1990 levels by 2020.

A recent European Commission report indicated that Ireland is set to meet its own individual Kyoto Protocol commitment.

The treaty comes into force in just over a month, on January 1, 2008.

Ben Meggeson

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