Tag Archive | "Ireland"

New initiative to turn Ireland’s smartest sustainable ideas into commercial reality


Sustainable Nation Ireland has launched the €1 million “2o Platform” to support the growth of sustainable businesses by turning the smartest low-carbon ideas and products into commercial reality.

The body promoting Ireland as a hub for sustainable business has established this platform for companies developing resource-efficiency solutions to help them achieve this goal of situating Ireland as a centre for sustainable innovation and investment.

Sustainable Nation collaborates with Europe’s Climate-KIC and Sustainability Skillnet, and these partnerships will enable Irish businesses and entrepreneurs to access world-class resources, insights, skills, research and opportunities. Through the 2o Platform, the body wants to connect Irish start-ups, existing firms and larger brands by connecting them with a dynamic, thriving, innovating network.

The low-carbon model is not just about clean energy. Businesses can provide sustainability in the form of efficiency in food production, access to water and urban population growth.

The name of the platform, itself, refers to the stated global aim to limit future temperature increases to just 2o Celsius, if agreed reduction targets are met.

Wayne Byrne, CEO of OxyMem, a spinout from UCD who have been commercialising an innovative solution to reduce costs for wastewater treatment, comments: “Our success is dependent on many factors, such as access to networks and finance. Collaborating with Sustainable Nation through their 2o Platform and accessing their global network has opened up opportunities which are invaluable.

“Irish companies are recognised as leaders in the sustainability and low-carbon sector and we should actively engage with Sustainable Nation to strengthen our ecosystem, and promote our success.”

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Ireland on course to meet 2020 emissions target


Fine Gael MEP for Dublin, Brian Hayes, today welcomed a letter from the EU Climate Commissioner, which says that Ireland is on course to meet its EU greenhouse gas emissions targets by 2020. Under EU binding targets, Ireland is obliged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, compared to 2005 levels.

“EU Climate Commissioner Arias Canete has informed me that if we take into account flexibility mechanisms under EU rules, Ireland is on course to meet its emissions obligations. For the period 2013-2017, Ireland’s emissions targets could be over-achieved. This would allow emission reductions to be banked and then used for the period 2018-2020. The full implementation of planned measures and renewable targets for transport and heat and energy will ultimately help us to meet our targets.

“One of Ireland’s big difficulties is getting other Member States to recognise Ireland’s challenge as a country that has suffered a major economic downturn. The crisis has restricted Ireland’s ability to direct resources into reducing emissions and therefore some flexibility should be afforded to Ireland.

“Commissioner Canete also stated that according to the latest preliminary assessment of projections, 24 Member States are on course to meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets by 2020.

“There is much work to do to become a truly low-carbon economy, but it should be recognised that progress is being made through the reduction of energy consumption and an increase in the use of renewable energy. According to the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Ireland is using five times more renewables than in 1990.

“The real challenge lies after 2020, when new obligations will come in and we have to hit more ambitious targets by 2030. By 2030, greenhouse gas emissions will have to be reduced by 30% compared with 2005 levels. This will require some serious forward planning and I believe the government should develop a long-term national strategy on the reduction of emissions in the context of our international obligations.”

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MEP Kelly gets Paris climate change mandate from European Parliament


The European Parliament this week adopted its position ahead of the upcoming 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP21.

The adopted document will now give a mandate the Parliamentary delegation that will travel to December’s conference in Paris to put their mark on the Global Agreement that is expected to be reached.

This agreement, which is expected to be finalised in Paris, will aim to put the world on track to achieve its objective of limiting dangerous rises in global average temperature to below 2oC compared with pre-industrial levels.

One member of the Parliament’s delegation will be MEP for Ireland South, Seán Kelly, who for the past number of months has lead Climate Change negotiations in the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE).

“I’m delighted that my colleagues in the European Parliament have adopted this balanced yet ambitious position that we have worked so hard to formulate. This position now gives us a strong mandate to ensure that the voice of the European Parliament and, hence, the citizens of the EU are heard in these talks; talks that are critical for the future of our planet and economy,” Mr Kelly said.

The MEP highlighted to his colleagues that it is vital they reach an ambitious agreement in Paris.

Mr Kelly urged that action is needed as we are heading towards irreversible damage being done to our planet, and our country, “What, for instance, would rising sea levels due to the melting of the polar ice caps mean for our beautiful coastal areas? What would it mean for Ventry? For Doonbeg? For Baltimore? For Tramore? For Carne? For Greystones? It would be detrimental; Ireland’s southern counties know only too well the need for urgent action”

MEP Kelly was keen to stress, however, that Carbon Leakage – the situation in which, as a result of stringent climate policies, businesses transfer production to other parts of the world with laxer constraints on Greenhouse Gas emissions. He called for other big global emitters to match the ambition that has been shown by the European Union:

“At the same time, we must not fail to consider the parallel challenges we face. We must ensure competitiveness, keep jobs in Europe, maintain the economic recovery, and meet the increased demand for food production. For this reason, it is essential that this agreement is binding and global.

“In Europe we have some of the most efficient processes in the world, particularly agricultural processes. We cannot have a situation in which these processes are displaced to less efficient systems elsewhere, resulting in a more severe impact on global emissions, and rendering the massive efforts we have made in Europe worthless.

“Other big emitters need to match EU climate ambition and I will fight to ensure that this is the case in December”, he concluded.

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