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Winners of climate change photo competition announced and new website launched

03-12-2007

The winners and runners-up in this year's European Parliament photo competition on climate change were announced today at a special ceremony in the EP offices in Dublin.  Together with their teachers and some of their class mates, the prizewinners will each travel to the European Parliament in Strasbourg in January 2008 to participate in the Parliament's Euroscola programme (see note 2).  The announcements were made by Liam Aylward MEP, Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament's special committee on climate change, Avril Doyle MEP (a full member of the Committee) and Bairbre De Brún MEP (a substitute member on the Committee).

16-18 year old students throughout Ireland (32 counties) were asked to submit photographs with accompanying captions, based on the following theme: 'Climate Change - causes, effects, solutions' and the winning entries were selected by an independent panel.  The competition was organised by the EP Information Office in Ireland and co-sponsored by the Irish Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the Department of the Environment of Northern Ireland.   The winning students and the runners-up (see note 1), together with their teachers and their classmates, were present at the ceremony.

Speaking at the event, Liam Aylward MEP, Vice Chairman of the Committee praised the EP Office's initiative as "an opportunity to highlight climate change."  He went on to highlight the importance of educational programmes in this regard.  Avril Doyle MEP, also a member of the Committee, congratulated "all who participated in this schools competition", pointing out that "such awareness-raising of climate change ..[..].. challenges individuals to make small changes to their daily routine in order to achieve significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions."  Mrs Doyle concluded by stating that we need to help Irish people "address the single most important environmental challenge facing our world today."  Bairbre De Brún MEP added that "this innovative schools competition can greatly assist the battle against climate change ..[..].. and I pay tribute not just to the winners but to all who took part."

The European Parliament's new website on climate change - www.europarl.ie/climatechange was also launched today and went live during the event.  A selection of entries to the competition, together with a latest news section and contributions from the MEPs on climate change all form part of the new website.


Notes to Editor:

1.  For your information (under embargo until lunchtime on Monday), the overall winners were P.J. Moloney from St Conleth's College in Ballsbridge, Dublin and Sharmin Rahman from St Mary's College in Creggan, Derry.  The runners-up were Helen Quinn and Peter Donoghue from Portumna Community School in Galway and Steven King from Ballyfin College in Portlaoise.

2.  The aim of Euroscola is to bring together approximately 600 second-level students from the 27 EU Member States to offer them an insight into the workings of the European Parliament and to give them a sense of what it means to be a European citizen. The participating students take part in discussions on topical European subjects and engage in group activities where they interact with their peers from other EU member states and communicate using their foreign language skills. During the Euroscola event, the students have the opportunity to sit in the Parliament's chamber and to re-enact the work of MEPs.

3.  Full details of the competition, terms and conditions, etc., can be seen on our website at www.europarl.ie (placeholder on right-hand side).