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Clark: Green Ribbon Awards

Embargoed until 6.15 pm
Tuesday 3 June 2008

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister

Address at
World Environment Day 2008
Green Ribbon Awards

Town Hall

6.15 pm

Tuesday 3 June 2008

It’s a pleasure to be here tonight to celebrate the outstanding contributions tonight’s Green Ribbon Award winners are making to our environment.

Each of us has a responsibility to act in our own way to make New Zealand clean and green. Tonight we honour those who’ve gone the extra mile and are making a big difference for the better.

This year is the 18th year of the Green Ribbon Awards. Tonight’s awards ceremony is extra special because it launches the week’s events around New Zealand’s hosting of World Environment Day.

It’s a big honour for our small, environmentally conscious and progressive nation to be the host for the whole world of this internationally recognised day.

This is the first time we’ve hosted World Environment Day since it was established in 1972 – and we’ve made it a nationwide event with many organisations playing a part.

The interest which local government, business, communities, and schools have shown in being part of the events has been phenomenal.

More than 120 projects around World Environment Day are being run with funding support from the Ministry for the Environment, and others are being carried out by business, community groups, and local government themselves.

That’s a good indication of our people’s commitment to looking after the environment in a sustainable way.

Wellington is hosting the United Nations Art for the Environment Exhibition, an international children’s painting competition, an eco-homes tour, and Arbor Day tree planting, along with the AA- organised summit on transport and the environment.

The theme chosen for this year’s World Environment Day is ‘Kick the Carbon Habit’ so we can focus on the opportunities for countries, companies, communities, and individuals to make the transition to a low carbon economy and lifestyle.

With New Zealand’s comprehensive programme to become more sustainable and combat climate change, our country is a well qualified host for World Environment Day this year.

Climate change is clearly one of the greatest challenges our world faces. Our people want to know how they can help. And each of us can – in ways large and small. Each of us can make a difference. Each of us can contribute to making our country and our world more sustainable.

Our hosting of World Environment Day enables us to profile what we are doing to international audiences – and to ourselves.

And part of that is about recognising the outstanding contributions to our environment which tonight’s winners have made.

The winners and all the nominees for these awards are providing leadership which is inspiring and invaluable.

Those who have ideas and back them with commitment and passion are those who leave a legacy. That is exactly what our Green Ribbon Award winners are doing.

The categories for the Green Ribbon Awards this year have been expanded from six to nine – so we can recognise a wider range of contributions.

I now introduce the first award category : for making a difference to household sustainability. This award recognises those who, through their products, services, or educational promotion are making outstanding efforts to assist Kiwi households to take practical steps to fight climate change, improve energy efficiency, save money, and reduce waste.

[MC gives background as to why they won, as winner makes way to stage and Prime Minister presents the winner with the award for Making a Difference to Household Sustainability]

Prime Minister. I now have much pleasure in presenting the award to EnviroComp Limited Canterbury.


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