Taoiseach to open sustainability conference in Galway next week

27 Jun 2012

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, TD, is set to open the sustainability summit Enabling, Financing and Delivering Sustainable Growth, in Galway City next week as part of the Volvo Ocean Race Festival.

The conference will be taking place on 5 July in the Global Village, which has been set up to coincide with the finish of the Volvo Ocean Race in Galway.

The Green IFSC, an output of the Clearing House Group of the Department of the Taoiseach, which has been tasked with accelerating the growth of green finance in Ireland, has invited 100 top financiers and enterprise players in the sector to attend the sustainability conference.

Iarnród Éireann is also providing a special train from Dublin to Galway for event participants. These will include former UN climate change chief Yvo de Boer, who is now a global adviser on sustainability and climate change at KPMG.

Yvo de Boer

Yvo de Boer

Other participants will include Jens Pers, head of global environmental investment strategy at Kleinwort Benson Investors; Sean Kidney, chairman of the Climate Bond Initiative; Michael White, partner at EnerCap Capital Partners; Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute; John McKiernan, partner at NovusModus; and David Gunning, who heads up Coillte.

Ireland’s Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte, TD, will also be at the event, as will Brian Motherway, CEO of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.

Alex O’Cinneide, head of investment at Masdar Capital, will also be in attendance, in addition to Barry O’Flynn, who heads up the clean-tech and sustainability division at Ernst & Young in Ireland.

Stephen Nolan, the executive co-ordinator of the Green IFSC, said that in terms of green energy investments alone, some US$263bn was invested in 2011.

“This growth trend is set to continue with the global move to a low-carbon economic model set to be as significant as the Industrial Revolution. Ireland has every resource needed to be at the centre of this emerging marketplace, attract finance and create jobs,” he said.

The final leg of the Volvo Ocean race is expected to attract some 600,000 visitors to the Galway region, with the festival taking place from 30 June until 8 July. To coincide, researchers at the Irish web science institute DERI have created a free app for visitors to Galway.

Clean tech image via Shutterstock

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic