Irish Government Must Not Lose Out on the Green Agenda

Irish Challenge Change Champion addresses key recommendations at Challenge Europe Event 2011

The newly formed Irish government will need to keep its agenda green to benefit from the huge potential of the green industry. This was the message delivered by Emission Zero’s Ciara O’Connor, who is Ireland’s Climate Change Champion at this year’s Challenge Europe International Event

Representing Ireland, Ciara’s key recommendations are:


  • The government has already begun with a green procurement policy, but more needs to be done
  • The government needs to invest in green and eco-technology skills to ensure Ireland takes advantage of this industry’s potential (which according to Price WaterHouse Coopers will see China develop a market worth over $1 trillion or 15% of its GDP by 2015)


  • While the current recession has seen our carbon emissions rates meet our targets, Ireland could find itself penalised when the economy recovers
  • The Green construction industry is set to grow. Pike Research forecasts that the increased focus on energy efficient buildings will lead to significant expansion of the Energy Services Company (ESCO) market, which will increase from $11.9 billion (€8.5 billion) in revenue in 2010 to $18.4 billion (€13.2 billion) by 2016, representing a 7.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

Behavioural Change

  • The government needs to continue to educate children on carbon neutral technology and economy to help them create the next generation of entrepreneurs
  • The Government needs to create encourage cross over courses for existing engineers in Green Engineering
  • Without these, we are looking at a massive Green Brain Drain to other countries

“With the focus on economic recovery, we could miss out on a key industry to drive us out of recession,” said Ciara O’Connor, environmental services manager, EmissionZero. “The new government is reviewing the Climate Change bill, but not making the changes now could see us miss out on a major opportunity.”

She is one of the 30 climate advocates from across Europe that will attend the event and that have been working on developing innovative and practical solutions to reduce carbon use. The Irish team are delivering projects under the subjects of Policy Change, Building and Behavioural Change

Challenge Europe Climate Inspirations Event will take place in Dublin from March 24-26th in Dublin. Funded by the British Council, it brings together 30 young European professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds who want to make a lasting impact on minimising the effects of Climate Change. Challenge Europe is a three year programme funded by the British Council which brings together young professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds who want to make a lasting impact on minimising the effects of Climate Change.