The sixth Environment Ireland Conference will take place on 14th September in the Croke Park Conference Centre. The theme for this year’s conference is ‘environment and the green economy’.
Much has been made of realising the potential of the green economy. This conference will focus on key aspects of the green economy such as eco-efficiency and a sustainable urban future. It will also look at the practical aspects of further developing the renewable energy sector and the waste water and waste infrastructure.
The water and waste water sector is currently worth over Eur1 billion per year, renewable energy is worth Eur700 million annually and the waste sector is worth an estimated Eur500 million per year. Despite current economic difficulties all of these sectors will see significant investment in the coming years.
In the opening session on environmental policy issues the conference will be addressed by John Gormley TD, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dr Mary Kelly, EPA Director-General, and Leo O’Reilly, Permanent Secretary, Northern Ireland Department of Environment.
The keynote address will be given by Will Day, Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, the UK Government’s independent advisory body on sustainable development.
In addition to the opening Ministerial address, this year’s conference will feature a ‘locknote address’ from Ciaran Cuffe, TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for sustainable transport, horticulture, planning and heritage.
With 450 global cities now having populations in excess of one million, cities are becoming more powerful but also face a range of challenges, particularly in relation to how they manage resources such as water and energy and how they organise their transport systems and housing. A key feature of the conference will be a session looking at the area of creating smarter cities and examining how cities can become both smarter and more sustainable.
The full conference programme and details of registration are available on the EPA website at www.epa.ie/news/events/.