What does it mean to live in a low-carbon economy? What will that look like in 20 years, in the West of Ireland? People living in rural areas travel further in cars, use more oil and peat to heat their homes but like everyone else, they will eventually need to change these old habits as Ireland transitions to a low-carbon economy.

In Episode 3 of the Western Development Commission’s podcast ‘Pulse of The West’, WDC CEO Tomas Síocháin discusses with his guests the challenges and opportunities presented by Climate Change and how these will impact on the way we live in the West of Ireland in the decades to come.

The panel for this engaging episode is

  • Caroline O’Doherty– Irish Independent Environment Editor
  • Ray O Neill– CEO of climate capital company Fincovi
  • Russell Vickers– Engineering Manager at Jaguar Land Rover, Director at Future Mobility Campus Ireland

There is also a contribution from the Western Development Commission’s Dr. Helen McHenry who is the author of the latest WDC policy team report on a Transition to a Low Carbon Western Region, which looks at improving transport efficiencies, upgrading homes to cleaner energy and generating electricity through community energy schemes.

Changing the way local communities use energy is one of the subjects discussed in-depth by the panel – with Tomas and his guests discussing the growing trend towards local groups managing their own independent energy needs.

Caroline O’Doherty says communities in the West of Ireland can be successfully ‘hand-held’ and nurtured to become involved in local energy schemes that focus on renewable energy while Ray O’Neill of Fincovi says companies like his can help communities organise the finance for these projects.

In terms of mobility and the future of transport, Russell Vickers of Jaguar Land Rover argues that we are at an inflection point where car companies are actually becoming tech companies, as they develop new high-tech vehicles.

We hope you enjoy Pulse Of The West. You can listen to it on our podcast page or you can download it from wherever you get your podcasts.