2015 Press Releases

Climate change debate heats up

6 Feb 2015
The conference is organised by students from the Philosoph, Engineers Without Boarders, International Development and Environmental societies and the Green Campus Committee.

Climate change is not an issue found at the top of everyone’s priority list, but it should and ultimately will be, say the determined students behind an upcoming free conference at UCC.

United Technologies Research Centre (UTRC) is sponsoring the event thanks to the involvement of UCC Engineers Without Borders (EWB). EWB Ireland gives Irish engineers and scientists the opportunity to contribute to sustainable development around the world. The Irish Examiner will also be a partner on the event, hosting a live-tweet of the day by @UCCClimateChange.

The conference will feature leading experts on the societal and physical impacts of climate change, including May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org.

Several UCC societies have joined together to host the solution-focused free climate change conference on Saturday February 7 from 11am-5pm. Organised by students from the Philosoph, Engineers Without Boarders, International Development and Environmental societies and the Green Campus Committee, it will focus on countries in the developing world that are already coping with climate change. It will also examine what governments and corporations around the world need to do to tackle the global problem.

Among the panellists are:

  • Oisin Coghlan – Director of Friends of the Earth
  • Aine Ryall, School of Law, UCC 
  • Tom Arnold – former CEO of Concern Worldwide, board member on the Mary Robinson Foundation, Director General of think tank IIEA (Institute of International and European Affairs)
  • Stevo Mijanovic – keynote speaker from the United Technologies Research Centre who are also sponsoring the event. He will discuss sustainability in business and how this helps contribute to lower carbon emissions
  • John Gibbons – Irish journalist and activist who has been covering environmental and climate issues for many years
  • Niamh Garvey – Trocaire, head of policy on environmental justice who will be talking about the importance of sustainability
  • Dr Alexa Zellentin – philosopher based in University College Dublin with a special interest in the area of Climate Justice

May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org, a grassroots organisation that organised the historical climate marches across the world in September 2014, will also join the conversation by video-link. The ‘People’s Climate March’ was the biggest of its kind in history. May will talk about climate action and how to put pressure on world leaders to act on climate change.

The timing of the event couldn’t be better comments conference convener Owen Murphy, who hails from Douglas in Cork City and is a final year Law student at UCC.

“The fact that students have organised this reflects the desire among many young people for governments to take meaningful and immediate action on climate change. It’s fallen off the political and media agenda over the years. TheClimate Bill 2015 was published on 10 January 10 and has already seen criticism in the press over its various weaknesses, including from conference attendee Oisin Coghlan of Friends of the Earth. It’s also timely in that last week UCC was declared the second greenest university in the world by the Universitas Indonesia Greenmetric World University Ranking, an accolade UCC students played a pivotal role in achieving.”

The conference is free and takes place in UCC’s Aula Maxima on Saturday February 7 from 11am-5pm, but due to limited space registration is essential by emailing conference@uccphilosoph.com

This event will appeal to anyone with an interest in climate change, environmental issues and the work of NGOS or the worlds of politics, business or international relations.  

The conference will also be an opportunity to hear from NGOs such as Trocaire and Concern Worldwide who will be talking about how climate change is already affecting people in the poorest parts of the world.

University College Cork

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