Climate & Sustainability

Climate & Sustainability Analysis

10th August 2018

SAVE THE DATE – Creative Responses to Climate Change: A Marketplace for Ideas

Taking place in Dublin on Monday 5 November 2018, ‘Creative Responses to Climate Change: A Marketplace for Ideas’ will provide a space for dialogue, information-sharing and creativity
5th July 2018

Rights and Fairness – Climate Justice Pathways to 1.5°C

In her address at the IIEA, Mary Robinson discussed the struggle to secure global justice for those people most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and how the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals have renewed the international community’s commitment to ending poverty and increasing equality while protecting planetary resources.
19th June 2018

Implementation of the National Development Plan 2018-2027

Robert Watt discussed how the Ten-Year Capital Plan will respond to Ireland’s key international and domestic challenges, and outlined governance arrangements to ensure its implementation.
14th June 2018

Smart Cities for the 21st Century: A New Age of Urban Electrification

Mr Ringelstein argued that a new dawn in the electrification of cities is upon us, which will equip urban planners with a greater ‘toolkit’ with which to envision a smarter 21st Century city
16th May 2018

Meeting Ireland’s Climate Commitments for 2020 and 2030: an Update

IIEA Senior Fellow, Joseph Curtin presented to the Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment on May 16th.
1st May 2018

Launch of The Sustainable Development Goals: National Implementation Plan 2018-2020

In his address, Minister Denis Naughten launched The Sustainable Development Goals: National Implementation Plan 2018-2020, which sets out how the Irish Government will implement the SDGs in Ireland and support countries around the world to do the same, particularly through the work of Irish Aid, Ireland’s programme for overseas development.
9th March 2018

Power Transfer 2030: The Pace, Democracy and Diversity of Power System Decarbonisation

Policy brief launch ‘Power Transfer 2030: The Pace, Democracy and Diversity of Power System Decarbonisation’ the speakers led a discussion on the future of Ireland’s electricity sector.

Climate & Sustainability Publications

27th February 2018

Power Transfer 2030

The deployment of wind energy has been the biggest success story of Ireland’s decarbonisation thus far, with approximately 26% of electricity generated coming from this source in 2017. This is only the end of the beginning—a good foundation for the ultimate objective of complete power system decarbonisation. In this policy brief, we assess recent developments with a view to contributing to the debate on the power shift that will occur in the period to 2030. Under current Government proposals, our key findings are:
  • The pace of power system decarbonisation is likely to be slow over the coming decade because of an over-emphasis on controlling the Public Service Obligation (PSO) Levy. The increase in PSO required for renewables has not resulted in escalating electricity bills up to now, as is often assumed, and a greater pace of renewables deployment could in fact result in lower electricity prices by 2030.
  • There is a robust proposal to promote energy democracy. Opportunities for local communities to collectively develop wind and solar PV projects, and for households to invest in rooftop solar PV, are likely to feature prominently. For citizen energy to work in practice, however, there is a need to promote awareness and up-skilling of communities, and for persistent policy attention over the next decade.
  • Technological diversity is likely to remain low, and the dependence on on-shore wind for power system decarbonisation is likely to persist in the immediate future.
11th June 2013

A New Wave of European Climate and Energy Policy: Towards a 2030 Framework

Against a complex, challenging, and often contradictory background, the EU is currently trying to decide what kind of climate and energy regime it wants and needs in the post-2020 period. Should it replicate the formula of the 2008 Climate and Energy Package to 2030 and beyond? Or are there other pathways that may prove more effective or politically palatable? The European Commission has recently published a consultation paper on a 2030 climate and energy framework and enormous efforts are being expended in Brussels and across the Member States as stakeholders work to shape to terms of the debate. This policy brief attempts to provide an understanding of the current debates and to illuminate the key challenges in designing a new wave of European climate policy. It first sets out the current EU energy and climate framework and discusses progress made to date, before going on to outline a range of key challenges in the design of a 2030 framework. This is the fourth in a series of Environment Nexus policy briefs by experts in the field of climate, energy, agriculture and water.
6th June 2013

Living within our Means: Water and Resource Efficiency in the EU

Over the past century we have tested the limits of many of the natural resources that sustain us. Our current patterns of water use have developed in a context where the full costs of exploiting this vital natural resource were not borne by the users. The result is that our societies have become accustomed to – and our economies grown dependent on – practices which do not make efficient use of the resource. Water efficiency is a complex field with many such challenges, which in many cases are also opportunities for improvement. In a European context, it is receiving a great deal of attention as part of an overall strategy for resource-efficient growth. This paper sets out the European policy context for water efficiency before going on to explore a number of areas where the key challenges and opportunities lie, asking whether resource efficiency is the right paradigm for delivering sustainable water use. This is the third in a series of Environment Nexus policy briefs by leading experts in the fields of agriculture, energy, climate change and water.
13th March 2013

Shifting the Climate Finance Paradigm: Nine Key Challenges for Developed Countries

In 2009, developed countries commited to part-funding the cost of adapting to the impacts of climate change and of low carbon development in developing countries. From 2010 to 2012, fast start financebegan to flow from developed country exhequers. However, the climate finance paradigm is now shifting. A transition from loans and grants provided from scarce exchequer resources to innovative instruments for leveraging private capital and mitigating investment risk is required in the coming period. But what are the implications for developed countries? This policy brief explores the policy context defining the current climate finance debate; examines the extent to which commitments have been met; and identifies nine key challenges for developed countries as they enter the new climate finance paradigm, drawing on the lessons of the fast start finance period. This is the second in a series of Environment Nexus policy briefs by leading experts in the fields of agriculture, energy, climate change and water.
15th January 2013

Greening CAP Payments: A Missed Opportunity?

At an important point in the current reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a new IIEA policy brief by Professor Alan Matthews, one of the EU’s foremost experts on the topic, considers proposals to green direct farm payments. Professor Matthews argues that proposed greening of direct payments – the key innovation in the current round of CAP Reform – look likely to fail. While greening may survive as a concept, the likely outcome of the negotiations between Agriculture Ministers and the European Parliament will deliver little practical environmental benefit. The paper examines the rationale underpinning greening, arguing that it exists to justify the continuation of a large agricultural budget, explores reasons for the apparent failure of the proposals, and reflects on the implications for future efforts to better integrate environmental objectives into EU agriculture policy. This is the first in a series of Environment Nexus policy briefs by leading experts in the fields of agriculture, energy, climate change and water. Alan Matthews is Professor Emeritus of European Agricultural Policy at Trinity College Dublin.

Climate & Sustainability Past Events

21st February 2018

Five Lenses on the Future of Global Development

Dr Kharas addressed the major trends and forces in development and argued that aid agencies need to adapt to the changing world and that the old narrative of celebrating the huge gains in poverty reduction will not long hold up to the scrutiny of publics asking what good their tax dollars are doing today.
4th December 2017

Ensuring Development Co-Operation is Fit to Deliver on the 2030 Agenda

The current development landscape is changing rapidly with new development actors, complex political environments, shifting dynamics and misconceptions about development co-operation.
30th November 2017

The Human Cost of Conflict: The Search for Dignity and Rights of Palestine Refugees

Commissioner Krähenbühl discussed the situation of Palestinian refugees and the contribution UNWRA has made to promoting stability in the region. The Commissioner stressed that in a world affected by many other armed conflict and crises, it is vital that the international community not forget the situation of Palestine refugees.
28th November 2017

The Future of Sustainable Biofuels in Europe: Part of the Solution Not Part of the Problem?

The speakers from UCC and Ethanol Europe Renewables, led a discussion on the uncertain future faced by biofuels in Europe within the context of ongoing EU negotiations.
24th November 2017

Confronting the Backlash Against Human Rights

Assistant Secretary-General Gilmour argued that there is a growing backlash against human rights in many parts of the world.