25 February 2008
Mr. Tony Lowes,
Friends of the Irish Environment,
Many thanks for your correspondence about Earth Hour. As you are aware, I have set addressing climate change as my number one priority for this Government and I applaud all initiatives that draw attention to the causes and implications of climate change for Ireland and the wider world. To that end, this government has commissioned a multi million euro climate change communications and public awareness campaign that will drive this message amongst the public generally. It will also engage with specific sectors and will work in partnership with them to address the emissions for which they are responsible.
I understand that a number of local authorities have engaged in supporting Earth Hour. I have forwarded a copy of your correspondence to my colleague Minister Noel Ahern, T.D. who has responsibility for the OPW asking him to support the local authorities' efforts by including appropriate State properties in Earth Hour.
I have also written to a number of Bodies under the aegis of the Department asking them to consider supporting this initiative.
I wish you well with this initiative and I look forward to working with Friends of the Irish Environment in delivering real change to Ireland's approach to climate change.
John Gormley, T.D.,
Minister for the Environment, Heritage & Local Government.