How Irish entrepreneurs can take on climate change

Posted on: 08 August 2022

Professor Quentin Crowley, from Trinity's School of Natural Sciences, says the global climate crisis offers green economic opportunities, not least for Ireland and its abundant offshore wind-energy resources.

It’s hard to miss the high temperatures, with Ireland recording on July 18 its hottest day for 135 years, at 33.1 degrees.  

But it’s not just the high temperatures, because we’re also experiencing other extreme conditions. Prolonged periods with little or no rain can result in water shortages, while less rain can result in little or no grass growth, which is bad news for farmers in terms of increased costs of importing animal feed. 

The message from the European Union is that we need to accelerate our path to climate neutrality. Cork and Dublin recently joined a list of 100 cities that will participate in the EU mission for climate-neutral and smart cities, or the so-called Cities Mission. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a big part of the European Green Deal, an EU initiative which stands to receive major funding over the coming years.

A big question is how we meet this climate-neutral ambition in a practical and rapid way which does not ignore people’s livelihoods. As a society, we have certain expectations as to how things should work for us, and we have limits on what we’re willing to sacrifice to meet these targets. The good news is that achieving climate neutrality does not necessarily mean making sacrifices. Lowering emissions will certainly mean making fundamental changes to the way we live. We can choose to manage these changes in a way which is sympathetic to local needs, and which contributes to a prosperous economy.