Awareness campaign aims to create virtual community of young ‘changers’
The final stage of the public awareness raising campaign on climate change launched by the European Commission in May 2006 was launched on World Environment Day in five Member States – Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Romania and Bulgaria. This third phase of the campaign was aimed at initiating pro-active dialogue on climate change where national campaigns have not yet been implemented.
The campaign, which runs until mid 2009 centres around television advertising and a competition for young people that seeks to create a virtual community of ‘Changers’ committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by adapting their daily habits.
In conjunction with World Environment Day, launch events were held in the five Member State national capitals from 5 to 8 June. These included a 4 km bicycle run around Bucharest and ‘Changer’ stands at the Ekofestival 2008 in Prague and at the Magic Sports Island sports festival on Margaret Island in Hungary.
In all countries the events and activities were supported by national Ambassadors who consisted of reputable television weather presenters, popular musicians and personalities as well as corporations committed to climate protection activities. It was also possible to exchange plastic bags for re-usable cotton bags and to pick up promotional material related to the campaign, as well educational brochures, and to learn about climate change.
The events were well attended by visitors from all walks of life and drew strong interest from the public especially amongst young people and school children. Those who signed up for the “Be a Changer” competition at the event or who participated in environment-related quizzes also took home prizes. At some events, a giant Earthball also made its way through the crowds, emphasising the need for commitment towards protecting and caring for the environment.
The “Be a Changer” competition is online until the 30 November at www.changer2008.eu. The competition aims to get young people in the five countries to submit a pledge to adopt new habits and actions to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by photographing their pledges and posting them on-line. This virtual community of ‘Changers’ is also encouraged to grow by means of ‘Supporters’ for their pledges from across the European Union. At the end of the competition, 25 winners, Changers and Supporters, will be selected to take part in a youth environment camp that will teach them practical tools to make a difference.
Visit the “Be a Changer” website here