A new direction in environmental policy - Environment Ireland Conference 2011

Date released: Sep 14 2011

With the change in government there has already been a change in policy direction signalled in a number of important areas of environmental policy including waste and water. The programme for Government commits the new administration to a number of key measures to improve the quality of Ireland’s environment including the publishing of a Climate Change Bill and the development of a new national waste policy.

The conference comes at a crucial time in developing these new directions in a number of key policy areas. A new waste policy is currently being finalised which is promised to be flexible enough to respond to emerging developments in relation to technology, operational practice and wider thinking in waste management policy. Despite the current difficult economic situation the Government has continued to give priority to investment in water and waste water infrastructure, with €435 million provided this year. The Water Framework is now entering a crucial phase with the implementation of the river basin plans. Many of these important issues will be discussed at this year’s conference.

Conference programme
In the opening session on Ireland’s environmental policy outlook, the conference will be addressed by Mr. Phil Hogan, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, and Mr. Alex Attwood, MLA, Minister for the Environment, Northern Ireland. Dara Lynott, EPA Deputy Director-General will also outline the challenges and opportunities in protecting Ireland’s environment and will discuss the findings of the recent EPA Review. Thomas Henrichs, lead author of the European Environment Agency’s flagship report ‘The European Environment – State and Outlook 2010: Synthesis’ will address the state of Europe’s environment.

A number of sessions and workshops will take place in relation to waste, water service delivery and agriculture and Ireland’s environment and the conference will also be addressed by Ciaran Lynch, Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee for Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht.

Developing Ireland’s smart green economy
A key feature of the conference will be a session looking at the area of developing Ireland’s smart green economy. A keynote address will be given by Mr. Brendan Gillespie, Head of Environmental Performance and Information Division, OECD who will outline the findings of a recent OECD report on green sustainable growth.

Environment Ireland conference 
Environment Ireland is Ireland’s largest conference on environmental policy and management and is organised by BMF Conferences in association with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.  It is attended each year by delegates representing all the major sectors with an interest in Ireland’s environment, including from Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Environment Ireland provides an important opportunity for all the key players in the environment sector to come together for networking and discussion.

The full conference programme is available on the EPA website.