€10.2m up for grabs in climate change funding under EPA scheme

9 May 2019

Image: © kinwun/Stock.adobe.com

Researchers working in the area of climate change can avail of millions of euro in funding as the Irish EPA seeks new proposals.

To help find answers to some of the biggest environmental questions of our time, the Irish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is looking to fund a number of researchers up to a total of €10.2m. It said the research call is designed to support the implementation of environmental policies in Ireland.

The funding, to be awarded in 2019 and 2020, will cover three main strands: climate and air, environmental sustainability, and water. These are then broken down into 40 different research topics, with each project ranging in duration from 12 months to a number of years.

Speaking of the research call, the EPA’s research manager, Dr Alice Wemaere, said that its research is an “essential component” of Ireland’s role in meeting its requirements under environmental policies, such as the 2015 Paris Agreement, the EU Clean Air Policy and the National Biodiversity Action Plan.

“The research call is competitive and we expect to be assessing many high-quality submissions from the research community,” Wemaere said.

“We have leveraged a high level of co-funding from other departments and agencies, and welcome this opportunity to strengthen our collaboration with other organisations in addressing key environmental challenges while nurturing an integrated cross-sectoral approach.”

Meanwhile, the EPA recently issued emission figures on the five main air pollutants in 2017. The pollutants included ammonia, non-methane volatile organic compounds, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.

One of the biggest talking points was that ammonia emissions – largely produced by Ireland’s agricultural industry – increased by 2pc that year, which followed a 5pc increase in 2016.

Dr Eimear Cotter, director of the office of environmental sustainability, said: “Our figures show that ammonia levels are on an upward trend, in tandem with increased agricultural production, and that they breached national limits in 2016 and 2017. This has implications for air and water quality.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic