Ireland notes contribution of science to sustainability

Ireland's environmental watchdog has published a report outlining how well-planned scientific research can inform environmental policy.

The report, Science and Sustainability was launched by Environment Minister John Gormley at the EPA's national conference last week and looks at how the regulator has funded research to help put Ireland at the forefront of environmental innovation.

Speaking at the launch, Dr Mary Kelly, EPA director general said: "Targeted and reliable environmental research provides an authoritative scientific basis for environmental policy and decision making.

"Building on our own experience of environmental monitoring, regulation and guidance, the EPA supports a broad-ranging programme of science to inform both environmental policy and eco-innovation."

The EPA provides funding to scientists, engineers and innovators working on research across a range of thematic areas.

This research is closely tied to Ireland's environmental policy needs, both in terms of filling knowledge gaps for environmental protection and also supporting the green knowledge economy.

The new report lays out how specific projects have helped the Irish environment.

For example, it details how EPA-funded research provided the basis for reporting a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from landfills of 0.7 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent annually.

Estimated savings to the public purse are approximately €50 million over the Kyoto Protocol period (2008-2012).

It also describes how EPA STRIVE research funding has enabled the development of a Sustainable Development Research Model for Ireland (ISus) which forecasts environmental emissions (to air, soil and water) and natural resource use (energy, land and water) to 2025.

The report can be found online here,29569,en.html.

Sam Bond



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