National Business Conference on Climate Change set for the Midlands

The “Creating Economic and Business Opportunities from Climate Change” conference will take place in the Tullamore Court Hotel on Wednesday 9th of October. The first of its’ kind to be hosted in the Midlands, this exciting national conference explores how businesses, in addressing and responding to climate change, can realise unique economic and business opportunities.

 The conference is an initiative of the Regional Transition Team under the auspices of the Midlands Regional Enterprise Plan to 2020 (MREP). This conference is linked to Actions of the MREP 2020, National Adaptation Framework 2018 and the recently published, All of Government Climate Action Plan - to tackle Climate Breakdown. 

 This conference will examine how responses to climate change can effectively drive innovation, and create real economic and business opportunities. The conference will address international trends and emerging business opportunities in sectors such as energy production, advance manufacturing and sustainable tourism.

 Attendees will gain insights into how a number of Irish business are adapting and capitalising on new opportunities, while mitigating the effects of climate change, through integrating sustainable investment, processes and technology.

The conference speakers, come from a range of business backgrounds, will highlight real world examples, which illustrate how the pursuit of initiatives that seek to address and respond to climate change, can be a powerful stimulus and a source of competitive advantage that can transform business and uncover opportunities.

The Keynote Speaker for the event is Dr. Tara Shine, Environmental Scientist and Director, Change by Degrees. She is passionate about changing the conversation on climate change and sustainability. She is an environmental scientist with over 20 years’ experience working as an adviser to governments and world leaders, as a negotiator and a researcher.

Tara is taking this experience of shaping policy at the global level to drive change in her own community and country. In 2018 she co-founded the social enterprise Change by Degrees and the community initiative Plastic Free Kinsale. Using both of these platforms she informs and empowers people at home and at work to live more sustainably. Tara presents wildlife and nature documentaries for RTE and the BBC. She was the first woman living in Ireland to take part in Homeward Bound, a global leadership programme for women in science, which involved an expedition to Antarctica in January 2019.

Irish businesses giving their experience of how they are adapting their business to take account of, and create opportunities from climate change are Bord na Móna, Lumcloon Energy, Viva Green, Watershed Group and ABB Ltd.

Ron Immink, Entrepreneur-in-Residence with Sustainable Nation will discuss funding and finance for Green Innovation. Dr Shane Ward, Professor of Biosystems Engineering in UCD will describe how the “Agrocycle” project offers a holistic approach to the application of the ‘circular economy’ across the agri-food sector.

Deirdre DeBhailis, Business Development Executive, Dingle Hub will describe how adopting a flexible approach to working can have environmental positives. Dr. Joanne Rourke, Resource Efficiency Officer, Eastern and Midlands Regional Waste Management Offices will demonstrate practical ways to work towards sustainability in business and using this as a marketing tool. Paddy Matthews, Head of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, Fáilte Ireland will close the conference by looking at the opportunities that Sustainable Tourism presents.

The conference is ideal anyone with an interest in business and climate change. In particular, it is ideal for entrepreneurs looking for new business opportunities, existing business owners seeking to pivot their business to become more sustainable and development groups exploring ways for local communities to adapt and thrive. The cost to attend is €150 and bookings are now being taken at The conference partners comprise the Midlands Regional Enterprise Office, Offaly County Council, Local Enterprise Office Offaly and the Eastern and Midlands Climate Action Regional Office (CARO).