News and Views

British Ambassador meets UCC COP26 delegation

12 Nov 2021
Pictured at UCC’s sustainable communities mural are: The British Ambassador to Ireland, H.E Mr Paul Johnston, Professor John O’Halloran, UCC President and UCC COP26 delegation members Dr Kian Mintz-Woo and Dr Marguerite Nyhan.

The British Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Mr Paul Johnston, met with the University College Cork (UCC) delegation who have just returned from the United Nations COP26 conference.  

UCC as the only Irish university with official observer status at the global climate change summit, sent a delegation of nine researchers and students to Glasgow.  

The Ambassador viewed UCC’s sustainable communities mural on its campus and UCC President Professor John O’Halloran presented the Ambassador with UCC’s COP26 Declaration. This includes UCC’s commitment, while working collectively with peers along both north-south and east-west axes of the islands of Ireland and Britain, to develop knowledge-based solutions and innovations to address the challenges of climate change mitigation and associated environmental degradation, in tandem with research to inform future policies.  

President of UCC, Professor John O’Halloran stated;  

“I am delighted to welcome British Ambassador to Ireland, H.E. Mr Paul Johnston, here to UCC today.  We share the same objective in securing our future and we can only secure our future by winning hearts and minds though research and collaboration. As a research intensive university, we commit to use the knowledge emanating from research to address the welfare of humankind and the global environment, taking into account our responsibility not only to present but also to future generations.’ 

Commenting the British Ambassador, H.E. Mr Paul Johnston stated;  

“I’m delighted to be in Cork for a two-day visit, to build-on and celebrate the strong connections that the British Embassy has with the city. Since my virtual visit last April, I was also pleased to launch via video UCC’s model COP26 negotiations last month and to follow online the journey of the University’s delegation to Glasgow for the climate conference. The conference is a crucial moment to the future of our planet, to make critical changes and keep 1.5 alive. COP26 offers an opportunity for communities to engage with each other on an issue that confronts us all and it was wonderful to see the UCC delegation taking part. 

“Through my discussions today with the President John O’Halloran, staff and students from the COP26 delegation, and through visiting the UCC’s sustainability mural, I can see first-hand the University’s strong climate action agenda and its commitment to tackling the climate crisis. I look forward to exploring further how UCC and the British Embassy can work together beyond COP26 to support the achievement of our climate targets.”   


UCC’s delegation made its way to Glasgow in a low carbon manner (by boat and train) and delegation member Dr Kian Mintz-Woo commented,

The thing that COPs do is draw in expertise, whether scientific, policy, and practical, generating the space for discussion that is hard to replicate in any other context.” 

The UCC delegation to COP26 consisted of experts in carbon emissions & budgets, transport, societal change, sustainable cities, air & water pollution & energy efficiency. Over 400 researchers work on climate change at UCC’s environmental Research Institute (ERI).

University College Cork

Coláiste na hOllscoile Corcaigh

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF