Green Skibbereen took part in a European-wide webinar last week to present on ‘Community led approaches on climate action and energy.’ Irish Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Ms. Cliona Manahan hosted the event.
Ms Manahan opened by saying, “I had read with great interest about the interaction between the three localities, Myross Wood House, Cascais, Portugal, and Kladno, Czech Republic, earlier this year so I invited their speakers to share this experience first hand.
“Mary Robinson just last week said there is a need for frontline voices from climate vulnerable countries to be heard and the need is for communities to embrace ground up approaches to our Climate Action responses.” Ms Manahan said. “Mary Robinson reminds us regularly that our transition needs to be a just one and we mustn’t leave anyone behind in our efforts.”
Alexandra Revez, from the Environmental Research Institute, UCC, presented on ‘Innovative approaches to develop pathways to a low carbon and climate resilient future’, which drew from their research project, Reimagining 2050. UCC ERI has held many talks with Green Skibbereen and there are plans to partner again on upcoming projects.
“These projects, many informed by state-of-the-art research and demonstration, are key to the delivery of EU climate ambition.” Noel Casserly said, in presenting plans for Myross Wood House. “Such activities will open opportunities for business and job creation in the transition to climate resilience, as EU countries rebuild economies and refocus priorities in a post-pandemic world.”
João Dinis, Coordinator of the Urban Transition Acceleration Division, from Cascais, Portugal, spoke about their local experiences of innovative climate action solutions and citizen engagement.
“Carbon neutrality and climate action are becoming inevitable development subjects for EU countries and their respective regional or local governments.” João said. “Coming together to work together presents a unique opportunity for climate and energy-related stakeholders across Europe to simultaneously share and learn best practices from frontrunners in our three locations.”
The third European site involved in this project was the Kladno Municipality in the Czech Republic and their sustainable and zero carbon community was presented by David Škorňa.
““I want to live in a future where our environment and economy are in mutual balance with no harm being done to our environment or to our prosperity,” David told the audience. “We are seeking smart and resilient solutions to these problems which always have to be about people first. This event can create momentum for successfully fulfilling our path to carbon neutrality at local levels through European collaborations.”
Ambassador Manahan closed the meeting by emphasising the Irish Governments support for these projects.
“It’s critical to hear from local communities in Portugal, Czech and West Cork, Ireland. I encourage each and everyone of you to connect with each other and to develop these relationships which are at the heart of our European project.”
The event can be watched in full on the Green Skibbereen website at greenskibbereen.ie.