Climate change gathering to take place in the Burren this weekend

14 Feb 2013

Prof Daniel Schrag pictured during a talk on climate change at NUI Galway today

More than 60 participants, including Harvard professor Daniel Schrag, who is an adviser to US President Barack Obama, will be meeting in the west of Ireland this weekend to share their insights on the topic of climate change.

The Climate Gathering event will take place at the Burren College of Art in the coastal village of Ballyvaughan, Co Clare, over three days, starting tomorrow.

The event is an initiative of Green Foundation Ireland and is running to coincide with the Gathering initiative happening in Ireland this year.

Eamon Ryan, the leader of the Green Party, is convening the Climate Gathering and helped to secure participants from Europe and the US to attend the climate change talks in an informal and non-binding context.

According to the organisers, the aim is to help start new narratives on how we approach climate change and to look at the obstacles.

More than 60 delegates from the fields of science, politics, business and culture will be meeting to share their insights.

This will include Daniel Schrag, a professor of geology and environmental science and engineering at Harvard University, where he is director of the Center for the Environment. Since 2009, he has also been a member of Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Today, Schrag participated in a public talk at NUI Galway on changing attitudes to climate change.

Earlier this week, Schrag said he was looking forward to meeting the other participants in the Burren.

“The Climate Gathering is a unique approach in addressing how we look at climate change and I am curious as to what narrative we may discover,” he said.

Ryan said these talks are a first for Ireland and could position the country as a place where climate change talks happen in the future.

“Part of the reason that participants are coming is that we boast a stunning, rugged landscape on the western edge of Europe which we believe will be inspirational,” he said.

Among the participants at the Climate Gathering this weekend are John Ashton, the founder director of the non-profit organisation E3G. He was the special representative for climate change to the UK Foreign Secretary from 2006 to 2012.

Jennifer Morgan, the director of the climate and energy programme at the World Resources Institute, will also be at the talks, as will Bob Inglis, a former Republican member of the US House of Representatives. He is now executive director of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative in the US.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic