Cork environmental scientist appointed to senior UN role

Cork environmental scientist appointed to senior UN role

Dr Tara Shine campaigning for climate action in the Antarctic, beside the MC Ushuaia.

A Kinsale-based environmental scientist has been appointed to a senior position within the United Nations.

Dr Tara Shine has been appointed as co-facilitator of the Structured Expert Dialogue of the Second Periodic Review under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

The Structured Expert Dialogue is a science – policy discussion as part of the Periodic Review of the long term goal to hold global temperature rise to well below 2°C, aiming for 1.5°C.

It will assess progress towards the goal and identify challenges and opportunities for achieving it.

Commenting, Dr Shine, who is Chair of the Board of the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED), said she is "honoured" to have been appointed to the role and looks forward to co-facilitating a dialogue between scientists and policymakers.

"Our work together will assess the progress made to achieve the 1.5°C goal and the opportunities we have today to provide a safe climate system for future generations," she said.

Dr Shine 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 co-founding Change by Degrees, a sustainability consultancy based in Kinsale. 

She is also a published author and television presenter.

Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport Eamon Ryan TD today congratulated Dr Shine on her successful appointment.

"Her nomination and successful appointment in the role is in recognition of her wealth of experience and engagement as an environmental scientist, international climate change negotiator and adviser to governments and world leaders on environmental and climate policy, and matters of climate justice," he said.

"I am delighted to support Dr Shine in this role, it reflects Ireland’s commitment to a science-based approach to climate decision making, and the need to continually engage with other countries at an international level on the shared global climate challenge. 

"It is fundamental that we listen to the scientific evidence and what is it telling us about the future of our planet," the Minister continued. 

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