Elizabeth O’Reilly, a Research Assistant for the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) at NUI Galway recently met former U.S. Vice President Al Gore as part of his global movement to increase climate change awareness and action.
Oct 13 2015 Posted: 10:42 IST

Nine Irish environmental communicators recently met former U.S. Vice President Al Gore as part of his global movement to increase climate change awareness and action. The Irish delegation joined more than 1,200 other Climate Leaders from 85 countries in Miami, Florida to receive training on how to communicate the climate crisis and solutions to the public. Mr. Gore agreed to a brief private meeting with the Irish delegation where they discussed the challenges of climate communication in Ireland.

Among the group was Elizabeth O’Reilly, a Research Assistant for the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit (SEMRU) at NUI Galway: “It was a privilege to meet the former Vice President and I hope I can do his message justice. It is one I believe in and hope I can highlight to an Irish and Galway audience.”
 
Irish film maker, Raja Nundlall, participated in the Climate Leader training and documented the trip as part of a film project. Raja explained; “It was an honour to come to Miami to participate in the Climate Reality initiative and meet the former Vice President, Academy award winner, and Nobel Peace prize recipient. His film, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, was the first movie that explained climate change in a way I could relate to.”
 
The delegation was joined by Ireland’s first Climate Leader, Dr Cara Augustenborg, who participated as a mentor with the Climate Reality team. Cara became a Climate Leader in 2013 and has since given over 25 public climate talks to more than 1,500 people in Ireland.
 
Upon reflecting on meeting Al Gore, Cara explained: “I was amazed at Mr. Gore’s generosity in agreeing to meet the Irish delegation in the midst of his busy schedule. With the United Nation’s climate negotiations only nine weeks away, now is a critical time to improve public understanding of climate impacts and solutions. That urgency for climate action was reflected in the amount of attention Mr. Gore gave these new Climate Leaders. It was a thrill to watch the Irish delegation develop into effective climate communicators over the course of the training.”

To date, Al Gore has trained more than 9,000 people to become Climate Leaders and over 19,000 climate presentations have been delivered as a result. In return for receiving the Climate Reality training, Climate Leaders agree to give at least ten climate talks in their local communities based on Al Gore’s own climate presentation, which featured in his Oscar-winning documentary, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’.
 
The new Climate Leaders are now available to give presentations based on Al Gore’s own climate presentation. The talks are expected to be particularly well received in the lead up to the United Nation’s climate negotiations in Paris this December. Irish Climate Leaders can be contacted through their new website, www.ClimateTalkIreland.com.
 
The Irish delegation was sponsored in part by the Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency and through their own personal fundraising efforts.

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