The decision to pause Tourism Ireland’s long-running Global Greening initiative will do little to ease the energy crisis, according to an environmental expert.
Tourism Ireland has decided not to promote the campaign this year due to the current energy crisis.
The campaign has seen some of the most famous buildings in the world lit up in green since it was launched in 2009.
It began with the Sky Tower in Auckland before moving on to the Sydney Opera House and by 2019, it involved 425 sites in 53 countries.
Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show’s Green Scene segment this morning, Science Foundation Ireland Science Director Dr Ruth Freeman, said pausing the initiative amounted to tokenism and would have little impact.
“I mean look, an LED light uses very, very little power,” she said. “You’re talking about 0.01 of a kilowatt for an hour so it is not going to be huge energy use – and these things are probably going to be lit up anyway.
“I mean what I would love is if we could aim, in 15 or 20 years, to be really getting the gold star for our own environment and let’s get out there being the really green island.
“Let’s be top of the list for our own environment.”
Tourism Ireland said St Patrick’s Day is still a hugely important date – noting that it marks the unofficial beginning of Ireland’s tourism season.
It said it is rolling out a “huge programme of promotional activity” this week, even as the greening initiative is shelved.
Meanwhile, Irish politicians and Government representatives are travelling to 44 countries as part of this year’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations.
The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar began his visit to Washington DC today and will meet US President Joe Biden during the traditional St Patrick's Day visit to the White House on Friday.