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Tara says sustainability is an opportunity, not a hardship

June 17th, 2021 10:00 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

Over 900 public representatives joined the online conference to discuss energy efficiency and carbon targets.

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EMBRACING sustainability is an opportunity to be seized and not a hardship to be endured, a Kinsale climate change advocate has said.

Addressing the annual Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) public sector energy conference last week, keynote speaker Dr Tara Shine told delegates that working together they can be a positive force for change.

Over 900 public representatives joined the online conference to discuss energy efficiency and carbon reduction targets.

The conference heard that the public sector has ambitious objective to halve energy related emissions by 2030.

‘Change starts from within, it is personal,’ the Kinsale-based activist and sustainability expert said.

‘When we are clear on why living more sustainably is important to us as individuals, we are better placed to use our influence to engage and inspire others. Transforming our society to reduce emissions will reap benefits in terms of health, wellbeing, jobs, and a more connected and equitable society.

‘It is an opportunity to be seized and not a hardship to be endured. As leaders in the public sector your influence on society is powerful. Working together you can be a positive force for change.’

Dr Tara has spent 20 years as an international climate change negotiator and adviser to governments and world leaders on environmental policy.

She was special adviser to the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice and The Elders before setting up Kinsale-based Change by Degrees with sustainability expert Madeleine Murray.

Tara is chair of the board of the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED) and a member of faculty and lead facilitator for the visibility stream of Homeward Bound, a global leadership programme for women in science.

She is co-facilitator of the Structured Expert Dialogue (SED) of the 2nd Periodic Review under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a process to monitor progress and enhance delivery on Paris Agreement goals.

A science communicator, Tara has also worked as a TV presenter on BBC, RTÉ and Channel 4 and presented the prestigious 2020 Royal Institution Christmas Lecture which aired on BBC4 in December.

She is author of How to save your planet one object at a time.

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