This year has been like no other, and one educational programme that successfully transitioned online is the Climate Ambassador programme.
Twelve awards for an Outstanding Achievement were presented to individuals and teams from across Ireland at the virtual Climate Ambassador Awards for their work in communicating and taking action on climate change.
Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan T.D., attended the awards and acknowledged the commitment of all Climate Ambassadors and their valuable work in communities across Ireland. Over the course of the year, Climate Ambassadors carried out 397 climate actions, directly engaging over 165,000 people, and also created 585 climate communications, reaching an estimated 1.9 million!
Saoirse Exton from County Clare attends Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh and started her year as a Climate Ambassador with training in Galway on January 25th. Every Friday since March 2019, she has striked for climate and she helped set up a climate husting for the General Election earlier this year. Saoirse is active with Green-Schools, working on their Biodiversity Flag and also as an EPA Youth Advisory Committee member.
Moving onto the global stage, she is involved with the United Nation’s World Youth Alliance. The end of the year will be very busy as she has been selected as National Coordinator for COY16, which is the 16th Conference of Youth. Remarkably, she will also be a delegate for Mock COP26!
164 citizens from a wide range of backgrounds including secondary school students and teachers, university students, academics, farmers and businesspeople were all selected to be Climate Ambassadors in 2020. The programme, now in its third year, has gone from strength-to-strength with Climate Ambassadors gaining key skills and confidence to take action, and inspiring others to join them on their journey.
Climate Ambassadors are provided with training on climate science and communications and become part of a powerful network of committed individuals sharing their knowledge, learning from each other and building relationships. Throughout the year they are asked to undertake four key actions – two climate communications and two climate actions, though many individuals go over and above what is required.
The Awards are a celebration of the hard work that has taken place over the last year and the enormous effort and dedication that the Climate Ambassadors have shown throughout the process. To mark this, each Climate Ambassador received a certificate of recognition. In addition, twelve Outstanding Achievement Awards were presented to Climate Ambassadors based on the work they have carried out during the year.