Environment Minister Phil Hogan TD joins Airtricity to encourage participation in Earth Hour 2011

24th March 2011: The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr. Phil Hogan T.D., joined with Airtricity yesterday to urge people across Ireland to support Earth Hour 2011. The Minister was attending the Earth Hour 2011 launch in Merrion Square, Dublin, today (24 March 2011).

Earth Hour is a global initiative which aims to highlight the need for action to tackle the world’s environmental challenges, including climate change.  Hundreds of millions of people in over 125 countries will  show their support  by turning off  non-essential lights for  one  hour  on Saturday 26 March.

Attending  the  launch  with  the  Minister  were  representatives of  Ireland’s  energy  industry including Jason Cooke, Head of Communications of Airtricity, Tony Lowes, Director of Friends of the Irish Environment (official organisers of Earth Hour in Ireland) and Duncan Stewart, environmentalist and Ireland's Earth Hour Ambassador for 2011.

The Minister hopes that Irish people will show their support by turning off lights and other non- essential electrical appliances between 8.30pm and 9:30pm on Saturday night. The Minister outlined his support saying, “Earth Hour is a powerful symbolic initiative which demonstrates worldwide concern for our environment and widespread support for positive action. We all need to work together - Governments, businesses and individuals - to protect and improve our environment.   I  am  happy  that  Ireland  is  again  joining  this  global  effort  to  highlight environmental sustainability and I call on the public to show your support on Saturday night.”

Jason Cooke, Head of Communications, Airtricity, comments, “Airtricity is proud to support Earth Hour 2011. As Ireland’s greenest energy supplier we are committed to a world where energy is made better. Small changes in the way our customers consume their energy can make a big difference to Ireland’s CO2  emissions as well as to the size of our customers’ energy bills. However powerful symbolic initiatives such as Earth Hour challenges all of us to consider how we can become more sustainable people in everything that we do and make real and powerful behaviour changes to help protect our environment and our planet.”