Environment Ireland 2009

Date released: Sep 22 2009

23rd September 2009: The annual Environment Ireland conference runs this Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th September in the Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin.  Minister John Gormley will participate in the conference, taking questions about his priorities and key issues for the environment.

The three themes of the conference are: Towards a smart green economy, Adapting to a changing climate and Investing in Ireland’s environmental infrastructure.

“Despite being in an economic downturn we must keep investing in Ireland’s environment if we are to maintain and improve this resource for current and future generations,”
commented Dr Mary Kelly, Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency.

She continued:

“Ireland must build a smart, green and resilient economy to create new jobs and technologies, overcome energy security constraints and be sustainable, both economically and environmentally.  Fundamental changes will be required to ensure that economic recovery, when it comes, is low carbon and sustainable. There are also significant economic opportunities for Ireland in becoming a low-carbon and greener economy.”

The conference speakers will include a mix of leading national and international speakers.  Lars Westermark, Head of the Climate Policy Unit at the Swedish EPA will give delegates an update on what his organisation is doing to move towards a low-carbon Sweden.  Michael Stahl, Director in the Office of International Affairs with the US Environmental Protection Agency will brief delegates on the US model for providing effective environmental protection and enforcement.  Andre Jol from the European Environment Agency will examine the impact of Europe’s changing climate. Joe Harford, Chairperson of the Government’s Action Group on the Green Economy will also address the conference.

Download the conference programme  from the EPA website.  Presentations will be available on-line after the conference.

Further information: Niamh Leahy, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours)

Notes to Editor:

Environment Ireland 2009:

Environment Ireland, now in its fifth year, is Ireland’s largest conference on environmental policy and management, and is organised by bmf conferences in association with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government. The conference is being held in the Croke Park conference centre on the 23rd and 24th September 2009.

The conference brings together, at the highest level, delegates representing all the major sectors with an interest in Ireland’s environment, including many from Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Alongside the visiting experts, the programme also features many of the key players in the local environment sector.  

Green Economy:

A recent study by Forfás and InterTradeIreland estimated the value of the environmental goods and services sector was in excess of $600 billion worldwide in 2005 and is likely to exceed $700 billion by 2010 and $800 billion by 2015. In the government’s economic framework, Building Ireland’s Smart Economy, it is recognised that, rather than taking technological developments from other countries, Ireland has a role to play in developing a green economy and thereby benefiting from the associated job and wealth creation opportunities.

In line with this, the major theme at this year’s Environment Ireland is ‘Towards a smart green economy: Prioritising the environment in difficult economic times’. A number of key speakers will address this theme, including Mary Kelly who will outline how the EPA is supporting this objective through effective environmental regulation and protection.