Winners announced of Ireland’s first ever National Climate Challenge for community groups
“Climate Heroes” was a two-week national competition, involving 68 community groups and organisations from all around Ireland. Organised by Global Action Plan and funded by Irish Aid, the national competition invited teams to do their utmost to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by making small changes in their everyday lives.
The competition was launched on Earth Day 2023, after which 517 participants started logging everyday climate impact activities in a bid to save the greatest amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
Competitors logged actions from a menu of some 40 every day activities, based on the four main areas of individual greenhouse gas emissions; transport, food, consumption, and energy. Each activity was then translated into a corresponding amount of CO2e emissions prevented, illustrating the core message of the fight against climate change: that everyone plays a part, and small changes in our everyday habits can have a massive effect.
We know that our society needs to make rapid changes in the way we live and in the way we use our energy and natural resources. The scale and urgency of the changes needed can become overwhelming and confusing. The Climate Heroes competition powerfully illustrates the immediate impact that small lifestyle changes can have.
Systems change cannot happen without active and empowered citizens, and the Climate Heroes competition shows that small changes can make a difference, and inspire subsequent action at all levels of society..
The “Ukrainian Volunteers of Ireland Changing the Future” team in Fingal were the overall winners of the Climate Heroes competition, saving the most CO₂ over the two weeks. The 16 member team prevented the emissions of 1,398 kg of CO2e.
This is a phenomenal achievement. The Ukrainian Volunteers team’s daily actions meant that they prevented 219 kilograms of CO2e emissions over a 2-week period. If everyone in Ireland had followed their inspiring example, making the same lifestyle changes and continuing them for the entire year, we would have brought down Ireland’s CO2 emissions by two-thirds.
The “Castleknock Climate Warriors” came second in the competition, with a total CO2 savings of 1,216 kgs (or 202 kg per person), followed by the “Coast Climate Champions”, who reduced their carbon footprints by 176 kilograms per person.
We are delighted with these results.
Congratulations to all the groups that participated in the Climate Heroes challenge.
The competition showed that there are many people in Ireland that are willing to do their bit to help fight climate chaos, and their actions are an inspiration to all of us.
The 525 Climate Heroes that took part prevented the emission of 36.8 tonnes of CO2 and, equally as important, discovered the enormous impact that changes in our lifestyles can have.