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Urgent call for Collective Change to Tackle Climate Crisis ahead of COP26

October 2021 - South Side Advertiser

Pictured at the launch of the new initiative are Chris Conway, Translink Group Chief Executive and Emer Rafferty, the first ambassador of Translink’s new ‘Changemakers’ youth programme.

With the climate change emergency now labelled a ‘code red for humanity’ moment, Translink has launched an exciting campaign, under the banner #LetsChangeTogether, calling for organisations and individuals to join with it to make vital changes to achieve net-zero emissions across Northern Ireland.

This campaign coincides with the publication of Translink’s own Climate Positive Strategy ahead of the UN COP26 Global Climate Conference in Glasgow in November, where it has pledged to become net-zero by 2040, ahead of government targets, and climate positive by 2050.

Public transport will be vital for the economic, social, and environmental wellbeing of our society, helping Northern Ireland reach a low carbon economy.  Transport accounts for 35% of all consumed energy in Northern Ireland and 23% of all greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from private car use.

Translink’s new climate campaign includes a range of novel ways for both individuals and businesses to get involved. These include a call for public Climate Pledges illustrating climate actions which will be showcased to inspire others, the launch of a new Sustainable Travel Charter, encouraging businesses to enthuse employees to adopt more active travel modes as part of their green recovery plans and an innovative Youth Ambassador programme - The Changemakers – giving young people a platform to promote their views on the climate crises.

Welcoming the Let’s Change Together Campaign, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said:

“We are in the grip of a climate crisis and time is running out to act. I urge everyone to back Translink’s ‘Let’s change together’ Campaign. By working together to change the way we travel, we can reduce emissions and help protect our planet. If we each change our behaviour, we can limit the impact of climate change and rise to the biggest global challenge of our time.”

18 year old, Emer Rafferty from Co. Armagh has been appointed as the first ambassador of Translink's Changemakers programme. With a background in environmentalism, Emer is also an ambassador for the COP26 climate change summit and is committed to tackling the climate crisis head on. Speaking about the campaign, she said:

"I am thrilled to be the first Changemaker ambassador and I hope it will provide a positive platform for the views of young people. Change making requires people to innovate, connect and speak up and I look forward to our young voices being heard and acted upon", Emer concluded.

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