Dublin city centre businesses need support for just transition

by Gazette Reporter
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Enhanced state support, combined with an already rapid shift in business thinking, can help Dublin become one of the most sustainable cities in Europe, business leaders in the capital will hear.

The Dublin City Sustainability Seminar, hosted by Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Caroline Conroy, takes place in the Mansion House on Tuesday, May 23.

The event will hear calls for greater strategic support for businesses, and share the best practice of cities leading the world in energy efficiency and carbon reduction.

Organisers, Dublin Town, the collective voice of businesses in Dublin city centre, says it wants to work with all stakeholders to maximise the city’s green potential.

Attendees will include representatives of global brands such as Benetton and Circle K as well domestic companies including Aviva Ireland, Irish Life and Permanent TSB.

Speakers will include Alice Charles, a director at sustainability consultants Arup and formerly of the World Economic Forum, Dr Roddy Yarr, Executive Lead for Sustainability at the University of Strathclyde and an external advisor to the Scottish Parliament’s Sustainability Board, and Environment Minister Eamon Ryan.

In her Dublin-based role as a director at Arup, Alice Charles is responsible for urban strategies across sustainability and climate change. 

She previously held the position of lead on cities, infrastructure and urban services at the World Economic Forum.

Ms Charles will share her international perspective in the area of sustainability in cities. The event will hear calls for greater strategic support for businesses, and share the best practice of cities leading the world in energy efficiency and carbon reduction.

Dublin Town CEO, Richard Guiney, will appeal to businesses, particularly those consumer-facing, to meet the challenge of sustainability head on, but says business in the capital will require greater state support if Dublin city centre is to make a just transition.

“In order to address the challenges of climate change, we need to innovate and co-operate at every level.

“Together we have it in our power to create a city that remains relevant to the needs of all and is sustainable and is welcoming.

“We can learn from our international peers, but ultimately as a business community, we need to understand and adapt to a changing environment.

“We will see dramatic changes in how people live, work and play.  This will have fundamental impacts on how business is done, particularly for consumer facing businesses.”

Last year, a study ranked Dublin within the top five global cities going green at an impressive rate.

Research by UK business utility price comparison specialists Bionic, ranked cities making a conscious effort to reduce carbon emissions and build resilience against the climate crisis.

Dublin ranked behind only Auckland, Stockholm, Lyon and Copenhagen.

According to the Lord Mayor of Dublin, the Green Party’s Caroline Conroy, the scale of the challenge brought about by human induced climate change places a focus on co-operation between business and the State.

“Public private co-operation is essential today more than ever.  Dublin must respond to the challenge if we are to create a long-term sustainable city that continues to enjoy its reputation as a great place to live, work, recreate and raise a family.”

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