Ireland and China to collaborate in a global climate effort

Researchers from MaREI and the Peoples Republic of China have secured €1,470,000 in funds from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and National Science Foundation China (NSFC) for a joint project on reducing CO2 emissions.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Minister Pat Breen announce over €12 million in joint research funding with Chinese Science Foundation

Eight new Science Foundation Ireland – National Natural Science Foundation of China Partnerships have been announced with MaREI and the Peoples Republic of China securing €1,470,000 in funds from the overall allocation of 12 million from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and National Science Foundation China (NSFC) for a joint project on reducing CO2 emissions.

The projects that received funding were subject to rigorous review with approximately 250 international expert reviewers assisting in the peer-review process.

The partnership was setup to fund innovative projects that support excellent collaborative scientific research that have potential economic and societal impact. ‘CHIMERA[1]’ (China Ireland Modelling Energy Research Assessments) is the first SFI-NSFC project funded in the Energy and Environmental Sustainability category.

Prof. Brian Ó Gallachóir, Director of MaREI commented “Ireland and China have both signed up to the Paris Agreement on Climate Action. This presents significant economic opportunities and challenges for both countries. This project will explore how we can achieve the greatest economic advantage from the transition to a low carbon clean energy future. We will investigate which energy technologies, processes, and services will provide new job opportunities in the future by linking energy computer models with economic models. Prof. Chen and I have collaborated previously through a Technology Collaboration Programme of the International Energy Agency that I’m the Chairperson of. I am really looking forward to harnessing this opportunity provided by SFI and NSFC to strengthen the collaboration between MaREI and the Tsinghua University.”

The Paris Agreements goal to limit climate warming to well below 2°C and pursue limiting warming to 1.5°C – is a target that will not be met by the current climate mitigation policies submitted to the United Nations in the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the 195 countries that ratified the agreement.

The project will use integrated assessment models, with multi-region Ireland, China, and Global versions, which will help to investigate trade-offs between the energy, climate and economic systems and their results will help advise policymakers, industry, regulators and citizens groups.  Researchers will outline the impact of the additional costs of decarbonisation, and give insights into technology roadmaps and policy pathways on how the zero carbon transition could affect society, quantifying benefits upon local air pollution, health, water quality, climate damages, employment and the economy at large.

President of the NSFC, President Prof. Li Jinghai, noted that: “The NSFC-SFI Partnership Programme supports excellent collaborative scientific research that has potential economic and societal impact. The programme builds capacity, expertise and mutually beneficial relationships between Ireland-based and China-based researchers, and will contribute to the global science and to the economic development in both countries. This is a wonderful beginning for our partnership, and I look forward to further cooperation between our two foundations.”

Congratulating the awardees, Dr Ciarán Seoighe, Deputy Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, said: “I am delighted to welcome the first eight awards under the new SFI-NSFC Partnership Programme. Science Foundation Ireland has been building research links between Ireland and the People’s Republic of China for the last number of years and the launch of these partnerships is a testament to the strong collaborative relationship between our two nations. Combining the expertise and resources of both research communities has proven very successful in attracting innovative and impactful project submissions, I am excited to see the outcomes from today’s successful applicants.”

You can read more about the overall announcement from Science Foundation Ireland here 

[1] A chimera is a hybrid beast from Greek mythology consisting of components of multiple animals. It is suitable considering the hybrid method of linking multiple Energy System and CGE models together in our project.