Ireland's major environment conference
15–16 October 2020 ∙ Online Conference


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30+

expert
speakers


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informative two-day
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ABOUT

The must-attend conference
on Ireland’s environment.

Environment Ireland® is Ireland’s major environmental policy and management conference, now in its 16th year. The 2020 conference has expanded to a two-day event and is going virtual for the first time, keeping attendees safe whilst providing the opportunity to discuss all the important issues in Ireland’s environment.

Ensure you don’t miss the latest developments in environmental policy and updates from across the sector and put your questions to expert speakers during dedicated Q&A sessions. This is an important opportunity to bring all those involved in shaping the future of Ireland’s environment together for two days of discussion and insight.

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Hear local industry leaders and visiting experts

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Connect with policy-makers and practitioners

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Important high-level plenary and focused sessions

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250+ delegates

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The must-attend event for anyone in the sector

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Interactive Q&A session with expert speakers

Towards 2030: What now for Ireland’s environment?

Under the context of the Covid-19 pandemic which has presented a huge challenge to society as we know it across the world, it is important that climate and environmental priorities must remain high on the agenda moving forward in the ‘new normal’. Recent projections show that global temperatures may exceed 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels over the next four years. Despite the efforts of the Paris Agreement 2015 to avoid this, it is clear that further urgent action must be taken to prevent it.

The new Coalition Government of 2020 has the ambition of achieving new zero emissions by 2050 in its Programme for Government (PfG). The target will be set in law by the Climate Action Bill, along with a newly established Climate Action Council. The new Bill will define how five-year carbon budgets will be set. The PfG will also seek to increase the carbon tax to €100 per tonne by 2030 and seeks to make a step change in Ireland’s climate action ambitions.

At a European level, the European Green Deal strives to make the EU the first climate-neutral continent and Ireland must play its part. Irish emissions are predicted to decrease by 9.5% this year, however we are still not on track to meet our 2030 targets. A dedicated ‘Climate Ireland’ session will open day two of the event with a range of speakers considering the impact of climate, including extreme weather events, and the future outlook.

There are many important issues for this year’s Environment Ireland programme to cover including biodiversity loss which continues to be an emergency with species and habitats threatened. We welcome an overview of the EU Biodiversity Strategy from the EU Commission in this session.

Water quality in rivers and lakes across Ireland are also deteriorating, with the number of pristine waters falling to the lowest recorded.
A Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy which aims to put Ireland at “the vanguard of EU efforts” on climate targets has been launched by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

The environment sector continues to be in a state of emergency – this conference will consider the way forward by addressing the key issues.

Discussion topics include

  • Priorities for Ireland’s environment policy
  • EU Biodiversity Strategy
  • Clean and inclusive growth and a Green New Deal
  • Tackling climate change
  • Water quality
  • Resource management and the circular economy
  • The relationship between environment and health
  • Climate: Extreme weather events
  • Air quality
  • Planning and the environment
  • … and more!
PROGRAMME

Conference programme


DAY ONE

15 OCTOBER

Environmental policy

09:30 – 10:45 AM

Chair: Owen McQuade, Managing Director, Environment Ireland


MINISTERIAL ADDRESS
ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES IN IRELAND: 2020 AND BEYOND

Eamon Ryan, TD, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications


THE IPCC SPECIAL REPORT ON GLOBAL WARMING OF 1.5°C

Professor Jim Skea, Co-Chair, Working Group III, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)


MOVING NORTHERN IRELAND’S ENVIRONMENT FORWARD

Edwin Poots, MLA, Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Northern Ireland


OUTLOOK FOR EUROPEAN ENVIRONMENT LEGISLATION

Deborah Spence, Partner, Arthur Cox


Questions and answers / panel discussion

10:45 – 11:15 AM

COMFORT BREAK

Natural capital

11:15 AM – 01:00 PM

OVERVIEW OF EUROPEAN BIODIVERSITY STRATEGY FOR 2030

Dr Micheal O'Briain, Deputy Head of the Nature Unit, DG Environment, European Commission


THE ROLE OF BIODIVERSITY IN AN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Bruce Harper, Consultant, Antaris Consulting


IRISH NATURAL CAPITAL ACCOUNTING FOR SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENTS (INCASE) PROJECT

Professor Jane Stout, Botany, Trinity College Dublin


CONSERVING AND PROTECTING IRISH WILDLIFE

Pádraic Fogarty, Campaign Officer, Irish Wildlife Trust


Questions and answers / panel discussion

01:00 – 02:00 PM

BREAK FOR LUNCH

Resource efficiency and the circular economy

02:00 – 03:15 PM

SCOTLAND’S PROGRESS TOWARDS BECOMING A CIRCULAR ECONOMY

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland


IRELAND’S WASTE POLICY: AN OVERVIEW

Philip Nugent, Assistant Secretary, Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications


THE ROLE OF REMANUFACTURING IN THE EUROPEAN CIRCULAR ECONOMY

David Fitzsimons, Director, European Remanufacturing Council


NO HOME FOR PLASTIC: CHANGING PLASTIC USE IN IRISH HOUSEHOLDS

Abigail O'Callaghan Platt, Project Lead, VOICE Ireland


Questions and answers / panel discussion

03:15 – 03:30 PM

COMFORT BREAK

Water

03:30 – 05:00 PM

WATER FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: IMPLEMENTING SDG 6

Gilbert F. Houngbo, Chair, UN-Water and President, IFAD


WATER QUALITY IN IRELAND

Professor Mary Kelly-Quinn, Associate Professor, School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin


SUPPORTING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RIVER BASIN MANAGEMENT PLANS

Seán Keating, Director of Services, Local Authority Waters Programme


INISHOWEN RIVERS TRUST: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT & EDUCATION

Trish Murphy, Project Officer, Inishowen Rivers Trust


Questions and answers / panel discussion

05:00 PM

CONFERENCE CLOSE FOR DAY ONE

DAY TWO

16 OCTOBER

Climate Ireland

09:00 – 10:10 AM

Chair: Owen McQuade, Managing Director, Environment Ireland


CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY IN IRELAND

Brian Carroll, Assistant Secretary General of Climate Action and Environment, Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications


CLIMATE JUSTICE IN IRELAND

Oisín Coghlan, Director, Friends of the Earth Ireland


TACKLING THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY

John FitzGerald, Chair, Climate Change Advisory Council


Questions and answers / panel discussion

10:10 – 10:20 AM

COMFORT BREAK

10:20 – 11:30 AM

FORECASTING EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS IN A WARMING WORLD

Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting, Met Éireann


THE ROLE OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN COMBATING CLIMATE CHANGE

Ciarán Hayes, Chair, National Local Authority Climate Action Steering Group


ADAPTING TO THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE

Professor Conor Murphy, Department of Geography, Maynooth University


Questions and answers / panel discussion

11:30 – 11:45 AM

COMFORT BREAK

Health and the environment

11:45 AM – 01:15 PM

HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT, HEALTHY LIVES: HOW THE ENVIRONMENT INFLUENCES HEALTH AND WELL-BEING IN EUROPE

Martin Adams, Head of Health and Sustainable Resource Use, European Environment Agency


HEALTHY IRELAND: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PUBLIC HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Greg Straton, Assistant Principal, Department of Health


THE IMPACT OF NANO PLASTICS AND MICROPLASTICS ON THE HUMAN BODY

Professor Christopher Elliott, Professor of Food Safety, Queen’s University Belfast


ECO-HEALTH: ECOSYSTEM BENEFITS OF GREENSPACE FOR HEALTH

Professor Mark Scott, Professor of Planning and Dean of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, University College Dublin


Questions and answers / panel discussion

01:15 – 02:15 PM

BREAK FOR LUNCH

Planning and the environment

02:15 – 03:45 PM

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PLANNING AND THE ENVIRONMENT IN IRELAND

Paul Scott, Environmental Planning Manager, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government


CREATING GREEN CITIES

Oriana Romano, Head, Water Governance and Circular Economy — Cities, Urban Policies and Sustainable Development Division, OECD


COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN PLANNING PROJECTS

Petra Biberbach, Chief Executive, Planning Aid Scotland


THE ROLE OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN PLANNING: WATERFORD GREENWAY

Michael Quinn, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Services for Planning and Economic Development, Waterford City & County Council


Questions and answers / panel discussion

03:45 PM

CONFERENCE CLOSE

The 2020 Environment Ireland conference begins in…


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SPEAKERS

Insight and presentations
from expert speakers

FORMAT

Conference format

Environment Ireland will be using an online platform that will allow speakers and delegates to follow the normal structure of a conference. This will include:

 



Delegates will get a ‘conference experience’ that goes beyond the normal video conferencing meeting formats.

Images from last year's event

 




TICKETS

Register your place at the conference

CONTACT

Any questions? Call us on +353 (0) 1 661 3755

or send your question to info@environmentireland.ie

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