German Embassy in Bucharest and Environ Association initiated the first project of taking action to combat climate change ,,Reduce your carbon footprint – First steps in the battle against climate change”. The campaign developed in September – December 2014 was a challenge for all Romanians to understand that global warming is not only a threat, but a reality that we should all be ready to fight.
The launching event organised in partnership with British Embassy took place on the 12th of September, in Herastrau Park, few days after the German – English common day of action against climate change was celebrated in Berlin and preceding the UN Climate Summit in New York.
The press conference was attended by the Ambassador of Federal Republic of Germany, His Excellency, Mr. Werner Hans Lauk, the Ambassador of United Kingdom, His Excellency, Mr. Paul Brummell, Sir David King, Special Representative for Climate Change from Foreign Secretary, the Ministry of Environment and Mr. Andrei Orban, President of Environ Association. Both organizers and special guests have tried to convey a message of action against climate change and to encourage a personal responsible behavior towards the environment so that each person becomes aware of the power of their contribution on reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide, one of the most common greenhouse gas which is the main cause of global warming.
The event was opened by Mr. Andrei Orban, President of Environ Association: ,,This year, on the 9th of September took place the first German – British – French day dedicated to climate protection and we chose to mark this event by organizing the launch of <<Reduce your carbon footprint>>, first German – Romanian project against climate change. We are very proud that our country has joined other European countries and is actively involved in the action for stopping global warming.”
,,Climate change is not a matter of future, it’s really happening now. We would like to encourage you to take into consideration the alternatives you have for reducing your personal carbon footprint; for example, you can reduce energy, you can use bicycle instead of car and you can always consider recycling. We can be successful only if we act together, proactively, if we manage resources in a sustainable way and we always consider climate protection”, declared His Excellency, Mr. Werner Hans Lauk.
British Ambassador, His Excellency, Mr. Paul Brummell highlighted the importance of celebrating action against climate change worldwide: ,,We are glad to celebrate Climate Diplomacy Day in Bucharest; it’s a great opportunity to show that we all long for a greener planet and a cleaner environment. All our activities, either at home or at work, have an environmental impact. Acting responsibly helps us reducing the carbon footprint.”
After the press conference, Their Excellencies, Mr. Werner Hans Lauk and Mr. Paul Brummell, Sir David King, Mr. Andrei Orban and members of Voltaj band – image ambassadors of the campaign, have started a bike treasure hunting competition by giving their personal example of eco attitude and, by the end of the event, more than 350 participants had joined the competition. In order to celebrate the action day against climate change, the lauching event was marked by an extraordinary concert Voltaj, attended by almost 1000 spectators.
Reducing the personal carbon fooprint, that is, the effect that a person has on climate, taking into account total emissions of greenhouse gases produced as a result of usual activities, measured in CO2, is the first and easiest step that each of us can and should achieve in the fight against climate change. An interactive application that measures the CO2 footprint is available on the official page of the campaign, www.soclima.ro.
During the project development, over 400 students from schools around the country were involved in the campaign and more than 100 projects of reducing carbon footprint and eco advices were subscribed in the competition. The winning projects were exhibited at the Final Gala where 23 of the most original proposals were awarded with bicycles for zero emissions movement.
,,The remarkable success of this first common project on climate change and his impact through the participants, but also in the online media, where the almost 15000 fans on the Facebook page created a real community, encourages us to continue and extend the project in 2015”, Mr. Andrei Orban declared at the final press conference.
The first edition of the project ended with the release of the leaflet ,,First steps in the battle against climate changes”, a collection of information regarding the nature and causes of climate changes, practical advices for reducing carbon footprint and examples of daily actions that could help improving environmental impact. The leaflet was distributed for free in more than 700 education units and can be used during ecological education classes.
Information regarding research results in climate changes, global measures against global warming and more details about this project are available on the official pages www.sosclima.ro and www.facebook.com/climasos, but also on the organizers webpages, www.bukarest.diplo.de and www.environ.ro.