Everybody has a role to play in tackling climate change, Environment Minister John Gormley said today.
The Green Party leader insisted people must think about the effects their decisions are having on the environment.
He was speaking at the launch of a new user-friendly website designed to allow people to calculate their carbon footprint.
“Finding your carbon count number is only the first step,” Mr Gormley said.
“The big commitment that we want people to make is to reduce and to manage their carbon emissions so that together we can reduce Ireland’s carbon emissions and tackle climate change.”
Mr Gormley said the biggest contributor to global warming was the burning of fossil fuels, so the way we live, work and travel has a huge bearing.
This first phase of the Carbon Calculator takes account of energy and heating in the home as well as travel patterns.
It also provides advice on reducing your carbon count number.
It is intended to include more details in future versions so that in time people will be able to include other behaviours, such as water usage.
“It is like a diet, everything is on the menu but some of our activities have a higher carbon count number than others,” Mr Gormley said.
“I am asking people to think about what they are doing and where possible try to make choices that result in a lower carbon count number, such as using public transport where possible, cycling or walking to the shop instead of driving, changing to CFL lightbulbs or getting your house insulated.”
The calculator was developed as part of the Change scheme, a government initiative to raise awareness about climate change.
The website address is www.change.ie