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Sue Christie

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful

Impacts, Global

Tell us about your background and your current role…

I have just retired from being Director of Northern Ireland Environment Link for 25 years. I have worked to raise awareness at scientific, public and political levels during most of that time, attempting to obtain realisation of the major impacts that climate change will, and is having on the lives of everyone and working towards action at both mitigation and adaptation levels.

With regard to climate change what are the current issues facing your sector/area of expertise?

Raising public and political awareness and willingness to take personal and political action to address it. Making clear that investment and planning now are essential to save money in the short to medium–term, not just long–term, and devising means to show how the economics for action is as compelling as the scientific and moral reasons are.

With regard to climate change, what do you expect the future issues and solutions to be in your sector/area of expertise?

We need both individual action (and therefore willingness to accept changes in our lifestyles) and large technological solutions. We have not acted to to avert major climate change, and are seeing the effects of this across the world in weather events, biodiversity impacts and human tragedies through droughts, floods and disease. We need the political leadership to take tough, and often expensive decisions that will ultimately address decarbonising energy production, reverse the decline of forests and drastically reduce energy use.