Speakers & Agenda

Our Speakers

Colm O'Regan

Conference MC

I'm delighted to host the Codling Wind Park 'Our Climate, Our Future' youth conference and I'm looking forward to being part of the journey supporting the youth of Wicklow to be part of the climate challenge solution.

As a standup comedian, Colm has performed all over the world and has featured on RTÉ’s Late Late Show and on Comedy Central.

He has written and presents the multi-award winning RTE 1 Radio show Colm O’Regan Wants A Word since 2016. He is also is the creator of the twitter phenomenon @irishmammies with over 200,000 followers. 

He is the author of six best-selling books and writes a weekly column for the Irish Examiner and has written regular radio and TV diaries for for RTE Radio 1’s Drivetime, BBC World Service’s In The Balance and presented inserts for BBC World News’ Talking Business for three years.

Conference Co-host

Cayden Elliott is a sixth year student from Cólaiste Chraobh Abhann. In his spare time, Cayden plays badminton and both reviews and listens to music. He is also an active member of the Wicklow Branch of the youth parliamentary group Comhairle na nÓg. Cayden recently delivered a youth TEDx talk where he discussed his personal struggle with mental health, how the pandemic changed him and the harmful effects of social media made him a person he didn’t want to become.

Eimear Manning

Youth & Climate Justice Development Officer in the National Youth Council of Ireland

Eimear Manning (she/her) was awarded a Master of Science in Marine Sustainability in 2015 and received a scholarship in 2017 to work aboard a Research Vessel in Florida, catching and tagging coastal sharks for graduate projects at the University of Miami.

Since then, she has worked to bring ocean literacy and stewardship to the Irish and European youth work sector. She was nominated as Ireland’s All-Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassador in 2019, where she worked alongside the EU Commission Healthy Seas and Oceans Unit.

She is currently the Youth & Climate Justice Development Officer in the National Youth Council of Ireland, where she manages youth-led projects centred on issues of climate change, climate justice, and meaningful youth inclusion.

Eimear also sits on a Drafting Committee developing a new Council of Europe Recommendation on Young People and Climate Action.

She was nominated by the Department of Education to be Ireland’s representative on the UNECE Education for Sustainable Development Steering Committee Youth Platform. 

John Gibbons

Climate Change Journalist & Commentator

Based in Dublin, John has been writing and campaigning on environmental and climate issues for the last decade and a half, including a three-year stint as a weekly environmental columnist with the Irish Times. 

He is founder of the website Climatechange.ie and he also runs a blog at ThinkOrSwim.ie. He regularly appears on national broadcast media outlets, including RTE (TV and radio), Virgin TV, BBC TV and CBC, TodayFM and Newstalk. He has been a weekly environmental columnist with The Last Word on Today FM for the last two and a half years.

John is a regular contributor to a range of print and online media outlets, including The Irish Examiner, The Business Post, Irish Times, Guardian (UK), TheJournal.ie, and DeSmog UK, among others.

A journalist by training, he is an experienced public speaker on environment and climate issues, giving talks in schools and universities, as well as participating as a guest speaker in a wide range of public events. He is also co-author of the Routledge Handbook of Environmental Journalism (2020).

He maintains an online environmental presence via Twitter, with around 42,000 followers. He is also a member of the National Union of Journalists, the international Society of Environmental Journalists and the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

A father of two, in addition to his environmental advocacy work, John is co-founder of a Dublin-based healthcare publishing and creative organisation.

CEO of Wind Energy Ireland

Noel Cunniffe is the CEO of Wind Energy Ireland which is Ireland’s largest renewable energy association and works with a wide range of stakeholders to build understanding and awareness of the benefits of wind and renewable energy. Prior to becoming CEO, Noel led Wind Energy Ireland’s Policy department in driving policy development across all aspects of the onshore and offshore renewable industry in Ireland.

Previously, Noel was the Renewable Integration Lead in EirGrid, the Transmission System Operator of Ireland, and worked across several departments including electricity grid planning and operation, and the design of the electricity market of Ireland. He is a Chartered Engineer with Engineer’s Ireland.

10.00 – Open

10:15 – Official Opening: Host’s Colm O’Regan and Cayden Elliott

10:20 – Welcome Address: Oliver Stack, Principal Coláiste Chraobh Abhann

10:25 – Video Montage: Our Climate Our Future, The Reality of Climate Change

10:40 – Building Ireland’s Clean Energy Future: Noel Cunniffe, CEO Wind Energy Ireland

10:55 – Interactive Poll: Hear Back From You, Are We Doing Enough?

11:05 – Panel Discussion: How Climate Change Impacts You

11:20 – What Do We Need To Do To Avoid Catastrophe: John Gibbons, Climate Change Journalist and Commentator

11:40 – Break

11:55 – Real Life Experience Working In The Renewables Industry: Fireside Chat with Scott Sutherland, Project Director Of Codling Wind Park

12:10 – Panel Discussion: Exploring Career Paths In Climate Action

12:30 – How Young People Are Shaping Ireland’s Climate Action: Eimear Manning, Youth and Climate Justice Development Officer at the National Youth Council Of Ireland

12:50 – Closing Remarks: Pat Sammon, External Affairs Manager Codling Wind Park

13:00 – Close

Our Agenda

Our Climate, Our Future

Wicklow's First Youth Climate Conference
Thursday, November 16th 2023, 10am - 1pm
Kilcoole, Wicklow

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