Irish climate scientist Dr Tara Shine confirmed for senior UN role

2 Oct 2020

Still from ‘Tara Shine Showreel 2019’. Image: Tara Shine/YouTube

Environmental scientist and director of Changes by Degrees, Dr Tara Shine, has been named a co-facilitator for a leading UN climate panel.

Dr Tara Shine, director of Change by Degrees and chair of the International Institute for Environment and Development, has been confirmed for an important role at the UN as part of its efforts to limit the damage caused by the climate crisis.

In her new role, she will be co-facilitator of the structured expert dialogue of the second periodic review under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The structured expert dialogue is a science policy discussion as part of efforts to achieve the long-term goal of keeping the average global temperature increase to below two degrees Celsius, with a target of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Commenting on her appointment, Shine said: “I am honoured to have been appointed to this role and look forward to co-facilitating this dialogue between scientists and policy makers.

“Our work together will assess the progress made to achieve the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal and the opportunities we have today to provide a safe climate system for future generations.”

A ‘wealth of experience and engagement’

Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport Eamon Ryan, TD, welcomed the appointment and said it reflects “Ireland’s commitment to a science-based approach to climate decision making”.

“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.

The structured expert dialogue includes two co-facilitators who manage and facilitate the discussions, and review and finalise the related reports prepared by the secretariat of the UNFCCC, which play a key role in the final second periodic review.

The news comes after researchers warned earlier this week that greenhouse gas emissions are driving ice in Greenland to melt quicker than in any century in the past 12,000 years. According to Jason Briner of the University at Buffalo in New York, the world needs to go on a “massive energy diet” to prevent acceleration in the melting rate.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic