You are here:

Minister Canney presents An Taisce Climate Ambassador Awards for 2018

29 November 2018


Minister Canney attended the inaugural An Taisce Climate Ambassador awards which took place today in Fallon and Byrne, Dublin. Speaking at the awards ceremony, Minister Canney was enthusiastic about the outcomes of its first year.


"I am delighted to be here today to recognise the hard work of the first group of Climate Ambassadors over this past year. These Climate Ambassadors represent the best of civic engagement in Irish society with a diverse range of individuals committed to taking action, as well as mobilising their wider communities, to address the challenge of climate change."


The Climate Ambassador Programme is a key element of the National Dialogue on Climate Action and is delivered by An Taisce with funding provided by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. 108 climate Ambassadors were selected in the first year of the programme.


Today's awards ceremony acknowledges the hard work and commitment of those involved in the Climate Ambassador Programme over the last twelve months and the enormous effort and dedication that the Climate Ambassadors have shown throughout the process. Each Climate Ambassador will receive a certificate of recognition for their achievements. Nine Ambassadors will receive a Climate Hero Award and two will receive an Outstanding Achievement Award based on the work they have carried out during the year.


Minister Canney reflected on the impact of the Climate Ambassador programme community and grassroots level and its contribution to the wider societal transition required to make Ireland a low-carbon, climate-resilient society. 


"The Climate Ambassador Programme, which is sponsored by my Department, has exceeded all expectations in its success to date. It is a vital programme to help raise awareness about climate change and how individuals, communities and business can help. Without a doubt, climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing us all.  Engagement on the ground is crucial if we're going to work together to tackle climate change. Hearing about the great work carried out by Irelands first Climate Ambassadors I see this programme as another step towards making Ireland a leader in Climate Change."



Notes for Editors


National Dialogue on Climate Action

The Government established a National Dialogue on Climate Action in 2017.  The primary objective of the National Dialogue will be to ensure an inclusive process of engagement and consensus building across society towards enabling the transformation to a low carbon and climate-resilient future. To do this, the Dialogue will seek to create awareness, engagement and motivation to act (locally, regionally and nationally) in relation to the challenges presented by climate change and to establish, on a long term basis, appropriate networks for people to meet periodically to consider evidence-based inputs on the economic, social, behavioural, environmental and public aspects of climate and energy policy. The EPA is working closely with the Department in delivery of the NDCA Work Programme, including delivery of the programme of regional gatherings and local events, as well as further rollout of existing EPA initiatives which will be included under the umbrella of the NDCA.


National Climate Change Action and Awareness Programme


The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment funds An Taisce Environmental Education Unit (Green Schools) to deliver its National Climate Change Action and Awareness Programme (NCCAAP).  The aim of this programme is to increase awareness of climate change and promote climate actions nationally. This programme includes:


Climate Ambassador Programme

The aim of the programme is to identify champions in schools, campuses and the community who will work as ambassadors' for climate change to increase awareness of the causes and outcomes of climate change and undertake actions in their schools, campus or community more resilient to climate change by improving their local environment. The pilot programme (July 2017-December 2018) selected 108 ambassadors from 22 Counties (Dublin the largest at 31, Cork with 19 and Mayo with 11); 60 community members, 20 3rd level students and 28 secondary school students. 


The Ambassadors have undertaken training by An Taisce in Climate Science and Communications, were asked to undertake four key actions during the year – two climate communications and two climate actions. Climate Ambassadors have undertaken key actions in their communities ranging from hosting climate talks, participating in community festivals, planting native trees, carrying out climate workshops and being interviewed on national TV and radio. Climate Ambassadors were also invited to participate in the National Dialogue on Climate Action in Athlone and Tralee.



Other actions under the NCCAAP include

  • Teacher training
  • Secondary school resources packs (launching Q4 2018)
  • Primary school resources packs (under development)
  • Green schools Climate Action Week (Annually in October)
  • Climate Change Expo 'Green Schools Climate Action Expo' RDS 22nd February 2018


The Green Schools programme has been operated in Ireland by An Taisce since 1997. Over 95% of schools (3,093 Primary and 679 Secondary Schools) are participating, making the Irish Green-Schools programme the most successful in the world. Schools establish a 7 step environmental management system while looking at themes of Litter, Waste, Energy, Water, Biodiversity, Sustainable Travel and Global Citizenship.


Nine Climate Ambassadors will receive a Climate Hero Award and two will receive an Outstanding Achievement Award based on the work they have carried out during the year.


Outstanding Achievement AwardDenise Dowds



Secondary School Teacher 
Outstanding Achievement AwardOlivia Feeney



Local Authority Employee 
Climate Hero AwardAaron JewelDublinPermaculture & Development Educator 
Climate Hero Award


Gordon Murray

DublinWorks in Finance 
Climate Hero Award


Irene Hughes

MeathSecondary School Teacher 
Climate Hero Award


Isabel Jorgensen

DublinTertiary Student 
Climate Hero Award


Jack O'Neill

LaoisSecondary School Student 
Climate Hero Award


Nadya Doyle

WexfordSecondary School Student 
Climate Hero Award


Niamh Banahan

GalwayWorks in the Healthcare Industry 
Climate Hero Award


Orla Farrell

DublinRetired teacher and social entrepreneur. 
Climate Hero AwardOrla Nic SibhneMayoSupports Local Energy Communities 


For more information please contact:

Jane Hackett (0877804538) or 01-4002214

Cathy Baxter 01- 4002216

Press Release Documents