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North West Energy Conference explores how drive to net-zero can benefit local businesses

North West businesses have gathered today to discuss how companies can play their part in fighting the climate crisis while also building a new, greener economy. The North West Energy Conference, which took place today in the City Hotel Derry, amid the ongoing COP26 Climate Summit negotiations, has considered how the move towards a new, greener economy can benefit local companies and leverage new skills and sectors.

Led by the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, the event focused on the emerging issues contained in Northern Ireland’s new Energy Strategy, which is currently being drafted by the Department for the Economy and expected to be published in the coming weeks. Thomas Byrne, Director of Energy Strategy at the Department, delivered a keynote speech centered on the opportunities that a more sustainable, environment-conscious economy can bring to the regional economy.

The Energy Conference was sponsored by Anderson McQue and was attended by business leaders from across the region. Hosted by Londonderry Chamber Chief Executive, Paul Clancy, it featured key industry voices from SONI, Derry City & Strabane District Council, North West Regional College, Airporter, and RiverRidge, who spoke of their continued work to make the North West a leader in climate action.

Paul Clancy, Chief Executive of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, said:

“With climate change in the headlines and the UN’s COP26 Climate Summit still ongoing, our North West Annual Energy Conference has never been more important or timely. Today’s event gathered leading policymakers and North West business leaders for an engaging discussion on what Northern Ireland’s new energy policies mean for employers and workers here.”

“We were thrilled to be joined by Thomas Byrne, Director of Energy Strategy at the Department for Economy, who detailed the Executive’s new Strategy in the first public event following its publication. Thomas, alongside market leaders in the energy sector from SONI and RiverRidge, explained how the transition to net-zero can benefit businesses, and the opportunities and pitfalls that come with it.”

“Climate change will impact us all, and going forward, we can utilize new technologies, grow new sectors, and ultimately build a new, greener economy. While there are challenges for the economy and businesses caused by the impact of climate change, there are ultimately also opportunities to innovate and develop new technologies which can create jobs and leverage new and emerging skills.

Paul McQue, Managing Director of Anderson McQue, added:

“Anderson McQue was delighted to support today’s North West Energy Conference in partnership with the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce. As a renewable energy recruitment consultancy, we see day in, day out the innovation, the opportunities, and the fantastic work going on within the green economy. This is an emerging industry but one which is ever more urgent due to the climate emergency we face. Events like these are vital for sharing best practice and expertise in how businesses can play their role in fighting climate change.”