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Government appoints four new members to the Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC) and approves first set of climate regulations

The Government has appointed four new members to the Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC). The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021 widens the scope of activities for the council and provides for increased membership. The four members appointed today are:


Dr Cara Augustenborg


Dr Cara Augustenborg is an environmental scientist and is currently a Senior Fellow in Environmental Policy at University College Dublin. She holds an M.Sc. in Environmental Health Sciences and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr Augustenborg was appointed by the Minister to the statutory Advisory Committee of the Environmental Protection Agency in 2016 and to the Ministerial Advisory Group for the National Dialogue on Climate Action in 2017. Dr Augustenborg also serves as chairperson of Friends of the Earth Europe.


Dr Morgan D Brazilian


Dr Morgan D Bazilian is the director of the Payne Institute and a professor of public policy at the Colorado School of Mines. Dr. Bazilian holds two Masters Degrees and a Ph.D. in areas related to energy systems and markets. Previously, he was lead energy specialist at the World Bank. He has over two decades of experience in the energy sector and is regarded as a leading expert in international affairs, policy, and investment. He is a member of the US Council on Foreign Relations, the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on Energy, as well as the Global Advisory Council of the Sustainable Finance Programme at Oxford University.


Sinead O’Brien


Sinead O’Brien is Network Coordinator at Sustainable Water Network (SWAN). SWAN is a coalition of 24 environmental groups working on the protection and sustainable management of water and wetlands, and the implementation of the Water Framework Directive (WFD), Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and Floods Directive in Ireland. Ms O’Brien holds a B.Sc. from UCC in Zoology.


Jillian Mahon


Jillian Mahon is a skilled executive director with wide-ranging board, committee and corporate governance experience across the private, public and international financial institutions sector. She has broad general management expertise across all aspects of financial markets industry – in private, public, institutional and international sectors, complimented by project work for key European agencies.


In addition, she has unique experience in the implementation of public policy in credit financing in the establishment of the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland. Ms Mahon currently works as a consultant adviser on Alternative and Sustainable Financing and as an adviser to Sustainability Works. She has previous experience in areas such as commercial banking, national and European sustainable finance.


Commenting on the appointments, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, said: “A critical part of our transition to a low carbon society is the provision of accurate and timely advice. The Climate Change Advisory Council needs to have a broad and diverse balance of skills and experience that will advise Government on both carbon budgets and progress on implementation of the Climate Action Plan.”


In addition to the appointment of the aforementioned members of the Climate Change Advisory Council the Government approved the first of the two sets of regulations provided for in the Act. This regulation references the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) guidelines and EU regulations that govern carbon accounting. This regulation governs which greenhouse gasses are to be included in carbon budgets and will be published on shortly.








Section 8 of the Climate and Low Carbon Development Act 2015 established the Climate Change Advisory Council on a statutory basis on 18th January 2016.


The appointments take into account:

  • Statutory requirements of the relevant Act (that appointees shall have a broad range of expertise and competences required to carry out the council’s current advisory functions);
  • Provisions in the relevant Act to ensure nominees shall have broad range of expertise and competences required to carry out proposed new functions; and
  • Provisions in the relevant Act to ensure gender balance and continuity of council membership (staggered terms of 3 or 5 years).





DECC (Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications) Press Office

Jim Breen; Gerry Kavanagh; Press Office: 087-6937580 /