UCC students and researchers to attend crucial COP27 talks

Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt is to host the United Nations talks on November 7 and 8.
UCC students and researchers to attend crucial COP27 talks

Members of UCC’s COP27 delegation (L-R) Rajas Shinde, PhD student in MaREI, Natasha Sutton, UCCSU Environmental & Sustainability Officer, Nathan Gray, PhD student in MaREI, Dr Marguerite Nyhan, Senior Lecturer in Environmental Engineering & Future Sustainability, Dr Aisling Finucane, Lecturer in Economics and Finance, Professor Hannah Daly, Professor in Sustainable Energy and Energy Systems Modelling, Dr Jacqueline Lyons, post-doctoral researcher at the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences, Dearbhla Richardson, business and law student and a member of UCC's Green Campus committee, Dr Ben Gearey, lecturer in Archaeology. Photograph by Clare Keogh

University College Cork will be the only Irish university with observer status to send a delegation of students and researchers to the crucial UN climate change COP27 conference this week.

Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt is to host the United Nations talks on November 7 and 8.

UCC President John O’Halloran said: “It is imperative that universities are central to the discussions on our planet’s future, and there is an onus on us to demonstrate how we can lead the way on tackling climate change.

“Our UCC Futures programme of research, together with our practice-focussed award-winning green campus, has singled out sustainability as an area of strategic importance, and we are working on creative, innovative, and inter-disciplinary solutions to the greatest challenge facing us all.” 

 Hannah Daly, Professor in Sustainable Energy and Energy Systems Modelling, who is to attend COP27 as part of the UCC delegation, said: 

“Against a backdrop of worsening impacts of climate change at home and across the world, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of this climate summit.

“While countries have made strong commitments to decarbonisation, that ambition is being realised only at a snail’s pace relative to what is necessary. This will be the COP of implementation: governments, businesses and civil society must come together to collaborate on the millions of individual actions essential to drive emissions down rapidly.” 

Natasha Sutton, an undergraduate from UCC’s School of Law said: “I believe it is incredibly important that young people be at the forefront of discussions around climate destruction. UCC are sending a very young delegation which reflects on the fact that they will be affected by climate change in years to come - and are already affected.

“It is my expectation that a wide variety of voices will be listened to and their opinions acted on.

“I hope to immerse myself in COP as much as possible. I look forward to meeting people of different backgrounds, and collaborating towards a sustainable future."

Egyptian citizen Omar Ibrahim from UCC’s School of Engineering, is one of the delegates. He said, “personally, COP27 is not just special because it’s a representation for Africa - it’s held in my home country.

“Joining the Irish delegation under UCC’s flag as an Egyptian is live evidence that different perspectives are encouraged to engage in the conversation, and even shape it. I hope to see an implementation COP, where countries share clear roadmaps and strategies about meeting climate targets relative to their contribution to carbon emissions.

The UCC delegation also consists of experts in carbon emissions and budgets, transport, societal change, sustainable cities, air and water pollution, and energy efficiency.

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