Deloitte pledges almost €530,000 in funding to DCU’s climate centre

7 Mar 2022

From left: DCU president Prof Daire Keogh, Deloitte partner Laura Wadding, Deloitte Ireland CEO Harry Goddard and DCU Centre for Climate and Society director Dr Dave Robbins. Image: Kyran O'Brien

The DCU centre will look at how different areas such as politics, media and education can influence climate action.

Professional services firm Deloitte has become a founding partner of Dublin City University’s (DCU) Centre for Climate and Society, pledging €176,000 in annual funding to the centre for the next three years.

The DCU centre plans to look at how how different “social arenas” such as politics, media, education and policy can influence climate action.

It will bring together experts from various DCU faculties and other universities to investigate different approaches to thinking about the climate emergency.

The partnership with Deloitte will also help the centre develop its master’s programme focused on the climate emergency.

Deloitte Ireland CEO Harry Goddard said: “The DCU Centre for Climate and Society will play a leading role in developing the policies and frameworks we need to manage the climate challenge, which is why Deloitte is very pleased to support it financially and professionally.

“In parallel with this investment, we are progressing our own global goal to become net-zero and assisting our clients in reducing their climate impacts in a measurable and sustainable manner,” Goddard added.

Deloitte said its recent research indicates that there has been a global increase around concerns surrounding the climate emergency. Almost 80pc of business executives recently surveyed  acknowledged that the world is at a climate “tipping point”, compared to 59pc eight months prior.

97pc of the executives surveyed said that their companies have been affected by the climate emergency. However, Deloitte said there is a disconnect between ambition and action among companies.

DCU president Prof Daire Keogh said the centre is a “welcome addition” to the university’s efforts in “addressing climate change”.

“Its creation is a recognition that an all-of-society approach is essential if we are to rise to this urgent global challenge,” Keogh said. “The social sciences, humanities and other disciplines bring novel approaches and fresh thinking to the issues at stake and will play an increasing role in helping us to navigate towards a low carbon and sustainable society.”

The partnership also means that Deloitte partner Laura Wadding will sit on the centre’s advisory board, which is designed to guide the research agenda of the centre.

The centre’s director Dr Dave Robbins said: “It’s vital that we understand how various sections of society think and talk about climate change. Politics, policy, education, media, business – all these sectors have a part to play in tackling this crisis.

“We are delighted to have the support of Deloitte in establishing our centre,” Robbins added.

An IPCC climate action report warned last month that some effects of the climate crisis may be irreversible if human activity leads to global heating exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius.

At COP26 last year, Ireland committed to providing €225m per year in climate finance to developing countries by 2025. In the same month, Ireland published the Climate Action Plan 2021 with the goal of reducing overall emissions by 7pc each year, ultimately reaching a 51pc reduction by 2030 and setting the country on a path to net-zero emissions no later than 2050.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic