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News blog25 January 2024European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency

Think global, Act local: Starting in Ireland with Gearóid Fitzgibbon

What is a climate leader? Tune in the Remarkable Climate Leaders Podcast's fourth episode and explore the captivating story of Gearóid Fitzgibbon, co-founder of the Energy Communities Tipperary Cooperative in Ireland.

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In this article we'll dive into a captivating podcast episode, featuring Gearóid Fitzgibbon, co-founder of the Energy Communities Tipperary Cooperative, in Ireland, who shares his experiences and insights on fostering local climate action.

Gearóid Fitzgibbon never set out to be a climate leader. Instead, he and his fellow community members saw an opportunity to create employment and prosperity in their region while addressing energy efficiency. This grassroots approach has resulted in a cooperative of 15 small local community groups working together to save energy, create more efficient homes, and generate local benefits.

Gearóid's Vision

The vision for the Energy Communities Tipperary Cooperative is simple: solve daily problems and create regional advantages. By focusing on tangible, immediate improvements, the cooperative has addressed larger issues and inspired others to take action. Success stories include bringing people together, securing state funds, and creating a thriving community that retains its talent.

An Employment Opportunity

Fitzgibbon talks about how job creation became a crucial indicator of success in this project, as it allowed more people to work and participate in the community. This focus on local employment has transformed the region and encouraged others to join the movement.

Moreover, word of mouth effect and community social marketing have played a significant role in the cooperative's growth. By sharing positive experiences and solutions, members have sparked curiosity and engagement throughout the community. This approach has been instrumental in raising awareness about climate action and energy transition.

Local Leadership in Action

The Irish climate leader offers valuable advice for both rural communities and local governments; and being such leader, Fitzgibbon explains, means translating complex jargon into relatable language that resonates with people; after all, "no point in talking about climate to people who can't pay their electricity bills or who are cold in their homes" as he points out. It is all about understanding the needs of your community and communicating the importance of climate action in a way that makes sense to them.

Empowering Rural Communities

Gearóid Fitzgibbon's story is a testament to the power of local climate action. By focusing on small initiatives and clear communication, instead of trying to reach for the moon, he and his cooperative have created a thriving, sustainable community. To learn more about hidden climate leaders in your region, visit our website and listen to the full podcast episode. Together, we can discover the inspiring stories that drive climate action across Europe!

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