Irish Climate Summit 2021 • Online conference

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Irish Climate Summit About the conference

Climate governance in Ireland is at a pivotal juncture. Environment and climate policy was a crucial element of the government formation talks in 2020 which heralded a new Programme for Government, incorporating the Green New Deal mission. One major component of this mission is the enactment of the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill, which will establish the national 2050 climate objective in law. Likewise, in the North, the Executive has launched a consultation on its first ever Climate Change Bill.

Internationally, the European Commission’s proposal for the first European Climate Law, aiming to legislate for the European Green Deal ambition for a climate neutral Europe by 2050 has been submitted to the European Parliament for consideration. Climate action will move from being a major challenge to a legislative imperative that will impact on future plans and operations.

In this context, the 2021 Irish Climate Summit will examine the latest ambitions, challenges and opportunities of Ireland’s response to the climate crisis. Climate action legislation and resulting policy outworking will have a cross sectoral impact ranging from energy, transport and agriculture to manufacturing and technology. In addition, many service industries and professional service firms are now reflecting on their business practice and how they advise their clients to transition to a low carbon future.

Conference themes Themes to be discussed

The Irish Climate Summit comes at a pivotal juncture and will examine the latest ambitions, challenges and opportunities of Ireland’s response to the climate crisis. Topics covered in the summit programme will include:

  1. National climate objectives
  2. Stronger climate governance
  3. Youth climate activism in Ireland
  4. The European Commission’s first European Climate Law
  5. An enhanced role for the Climate Change Advisory Council
  6. Work of the Oireachtas Climate Action Committee
  7. Promoting environmental awareness
  8. Investing in net-zero climate solutions
  9. Just transition and climate justice
  10. Climate leaders’ debate
  11. The role of local government in responding to climate change
  12. Community-led transitioning to a low-carbon future
  13. Covid-19, emissions, and air quality
  14. International climate politics

Speakers 16+ expert speakers

Eamon Ryan TD
Eamon Ryan TD Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications and Minister for Transport
Frans Timmermans
Frans Timmermans Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal European Commission
Beth Doherty
Beth Doherty Sustainability Officer Irish Second Level Students Union
Mariana Mazzucato
Mariana Mazzucato Professor University College London
Stephen Prendiville
Stephen Prendiville Head of Sustainability EY Ireland
Marie Donnelly
Marie Donnelly Chair Climate Change Advisory Council
John Sweeney
John Sweeney An Taisce
Oisín Coghlan
Oisín Coghlan Director Friends of the Earth Ireland
Sabrina Dekker
Sabrina Dekker Climate Action Coordinator Dublin City Council
Peadar Kirby
Peadar Kirby Cloughjordan Ecovillage
Róisín Commane
Róisín Commane Atmospheric Scientist Columbia University
Mary Robinson
Mary Robinson First female President of Ireland; former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Adjunct Professor for Climate Justice, Trinity College Dublin and Chair of The Elders
Conor Minogue
Conor Minogue Senior Executive, Infrastructure, Energy, and Climate Policy Ibec
Brian Leddin TD
Brian Leddin, TD Chair Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action
Paddy Hayes
Paddy Hayes Managing Director ESB Networks
Tim Cullinan
Tim Cullinan President Irish Farmers’ Association
Anne Graham
Anne Graham Chief Executive Officer National Transport Authority
Brian Ó Gallachoir
Brian Ó Gallachoir Director MaREI Centre
Peter Walsh
Peter Walsh Chief Executive Officer Transport Infrastructure Ireland

Conference format Online conference

We have invested in a professional online platform which will allow speakers and delegates to follow the normal structure of a conference. This will include:

Programme Conference programme

Session one

  • Youth climate activism in Ireland Beth Doherty Sustainability Officer Irish Second Level Students Union
  • Delivering Ireland’s climate ambitions Eamon Ryan TD Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications and Minister for Transport
  • Working to deliver the European Commission’s first European Climate Law Frans Timmermans Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal European Commission
  • Quantifying carbon budgets: From climate ambition to climate action Brian Ó Gallachoir Director MaREI Centre
  • Accelerating value-led sustainability Stephen Prendiville Head of Sustainability EY Ireland
  • Question & answer session · Panel discussion

Comfort break

Panel discussion:
Towards a climate action act

  • Oisín Coghlan Director Friends of the Earth Ireland
  • Marie Donnelly Chair Climate Change Advisory Council
  • Brian Leddin TD Chair Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action
  • Conor Minogue Senior Executive, Infrastructure, Energy and Climate Policy Ibec
  • Question & answer session · Panel discussion

Comfort break

Climate leaders’ debate

  • Tim Cullinan President Irish Farmers’ Association
  • Anne Graham Chief Executive Officer National Transport Authority
  • Paddy Hayes Managing Director ESB Networks
  • Peter Walsh Chief Executive Officer Transport Infrastructure Ireland
  • Question & answer session · Panel discussion

Lunch break

Keynote address

  • A Moonshot Guide to Saving the Climate Mariana Mazzucato Professor, University College London and author of Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism

Comfort break

Session four

  • The role of local government in responding to climate change Sabrina Dekker Climate Action Coordinator Dublin City Council
  • Promoting environmental awareness and action in the context of the climate and biodiversity emergencies John Sweeney An Taisce
  • Community-led transitioning to a low-carbon future Peadar Kirby Cloughjordan Ecovillage
  • Covid-19, emissions, and air quality Róisín Commane Atmospheric Scientist Columbia University
  • Question & answer session · Panel discussion

Comfort break

Keynote interview

  • How international climate politics is shaping our future Mary Robinson First female President of Ireland; former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Adjunct Professor for Climate Justice, Trinity College Dublin and Chair of The Elders

Chairman's concluding remarks and conference close

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