South West College to host Climate Change workshop at COP26

South West College to host Climate Change workshop at COP26
October, 2021
Following the recent launch of its world-leading Erne Campus in Enniskillen, South West College has been invited to host a key note address and panel discussion as part of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November.

One of only two Northern Ireland organisations, and the only UK further education college invited to host a Green Zone event, South West College will join 100 exhibitors, hosting 200 events providing opportunities to listen, learn and celebrate climate change.

COP (Conference of the Parties) brings together almost every country in the world to tackle issues related to climate change. This year will be the 26th annual summit with the UK hosting the event in Glasgow. Established by the United Nations, the event will bring together a panel of world-class experts in high performance construction. 

South West College’s panel discussion – How Buildings will Play a Role in Fighting Climate Change – will use the Erne Campus as an innovative, international demonstration of how to successfully design and implement cutting-edge energy efficiency processes in the delivery of new buildings. Panelists will discuss tangible solutions for the future of the construction industry and seek to reveal the skills and resources needed in the next decade to meet industry obligations on climate change. 

Congratulating the College, Gordon Lyons MLA, Minister for the Economy said: “I am delighted to see the fantastic Erne Campus with its exceptional environmental and sustainability credentials, being showcased on the world stage. This is further endorsement of the College’s progressive efforts in delivering a ground-breaking and innovative curriculum offering in the sustainable construction sector and I was delighted to visit the superb new building and perform its official opening last month.     
“To be invited to participate in COP26 is hugely significant for the College and for Northern Ireland and demonstrates the extremely high regard that the College’s sustainable expertise and approach plans are held internationally. The fantastic work of the College, recognised through attendance at this prestigious and hopefully productive event in terms of delivering meaningful climate outcomes, provides a perfect linkage to the progression of my Department’s new Energy Strategy and wider 10X Economic Strategy.”

Gracing the banks of the River Erne in the heart of Enniskillen, the campus is the largest and first educational building in the world to achieve Passive House Premium certification. It is also the first building in the UK to achieve both Passive House Premium and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) Outstanding accreditations.

Providing a living laboratory for students and industry to learn, the Campus is the perfect setting to experiment and develop new ideas and technologies.

Dr Jill Cush, Deputy Chief Executive, South West College said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for South West College to promote our work in the areas of sustainable construction, energy efficiency and renewables. 

“The invitation to attend the Climate Change Conference reflects the dedication, determination and commitment of the College and its staff to be a force for change and the workshop will allow us to engage with some of the world’s leading decision makers and policy influencers. 

Echoing these remarks, Dr Barry McCarron, Acting Head of Business Development added: “South West College is uniquely positioned to deliver this exciting key note and panel discussion. We look forward to engaging with political leaders and key policy influencers from across the globe and sharing our learnings from the Erne project to help reshape building design and construction practices internationally.”

The workshop taking place on Thursday 11th November will be broadcast live from Glasgow to the College’s campuses in Dungannon, Enniskillen and Omagh where a series of industry and student led events will take place to celebrate the college’s contribution to the global conference.