Analysis from Paul Deane on Ireland’s first Climate Change Assessment

Pathway to Zero Energy System Infographic

Dr Paul Deane spoke to RTÉ’s Drivetime (Listen here at 53 minutes) about Ireland’s first Climate Change Assessment. 

As a nation, Ireland is a small contributor to global greenhouse gas pollution, but as a people, we are the second highest emitter of greenhouse gas per person in Europe and we have a long journey to go to climate neutrality.  We are not immune from the consequences of climate change In Ireland with 16 of the 20 warmest years occurring since 1990, and 2022 being the hottest year on record to date.

The problem of climate change can seem overwhelmingly negative when viewed through the lens of inaction, however, the solutions available through action can deliver positive social, health, economic as well as environmental benefits.

There are no silver bullets to this problem, but if managed correctly there can be silver linings from implementing solutions in terms of less dependency on fossil fuel, reduced energy price volatility, cleaner air with fewer pollution-related deaths, meaningful energy employment, and increased well-being outcomes from better homes and access to nature…but some of this will be hard and pretending it isn’t, will make it harder.

We must work to make more solutions affordable, accessible, and fair. For the energy system, we have climate ambition and action in place and this needs to be supported with climate agility as time is not on our side. The state has a central role to play in enabling the necessary transformations, supported through action across society and decisions taken this decade will reverberate for generations to come

The Synthesis Report can be accessed here.