Research and innovation contributes to a clean environment and a sustainable future

Date released: Jun 23 2010

At the EPA’s National Environmental Research Conference today, Mr. John Gormley T.D., Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government launched the EPA report Science and Sustainability. The report outlines how EPA-funded research has provided significant support for environmental policy and decision making at national and international levels.

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 explains how research underpins environmental protection.  It also highlights key achievements demonstrating the benefits of EPA research funding. Examples include:

  • Analysis provided by 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 exchequer are approximately €50 million over the Kyoto Protocol period (2008-2012).
  • 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. Linked to the HERMES macroeconomic model for Ireland, ISus allows integrated planning of economic and environmental development.

The new report, Research, is available to download from the EPA website.


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

EPA National Environmental Research Conference: 23rd June 2010

The report is timely, coming at the mid-point in the EPA’s current research programme, and its launch today marked the opening of the EPA National Environmental Research Conference. This event, the third in a series, features presentations from Ireland’s leading environmental researchers and is attended by 350 delegates. The key-note speaker, Miranda Kavanagh from the Environment Agency for England and Wales, will explain their approach to using scientific evidence to protect the environment.

EPA Public Lecture

In a related event on Tuesday evening, two of Ireland’s leading economic and environmental commentators - John FitzGerald and Frank Convery - addressed an EPA public lecture in the Mansion House on future priorities for Ireland to develop in line with sustainable development principles. These talks discussed the use of pricing to influence behaviours, the importance of research & innovation and the possibility of establishing a water utility to manage water services. The speakers commented that failure to implement good policy today could further delay essential progress by another 20 years.  They also highlighted the need to be careful in not promising too much or aiming too high as this could discredit the policy changes that are essential to protect and develop our environment.


The EPA research programme for the period 2007-2013 is entitled Science, Technology, Research and Innovation for the Environment (STRIVE). The purpose of the programme is to protect and improve the natural environment by addressing key environmental management issues through the provision of world-class scientific knowledge generated through a vibrant, competitive programme of research developed supported and co-ordinated by EPA.