UL Tackles Climate Change in New Alliance

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_UL Tackles Climate Change in New Alliance
Image courtesy of UL

The University of Limerick is poised to play a crucial role as the primary research partner in the newly established Co-Centre for Climate+, Biodiversity, and Water.

Supported by a joint investment of €43.1 million from the Irish and UK governments, this groundbreaking research centre signifies a significant step forward in addressing the pressing issues of climate change, biodiversity loss, and water quality degradation across Ireland and Great Britain.

The primary objectives of this research centre are to facilitate fair transitions to Net Zero, reverse biodiversity decline, restore water quality, and enhance resilience for communities and a sustainable economy. UL is among the eight Irish universities collaborating on this initiative, working alongside three Northern Irish research institutes and three British institutions.

Heading the research at UL is Professor Ken Byrne from the Department of Biological Sciences, serving as a Climate+ Principal Investigator and leading the 'Investing in Carbon and Nature' theme. Professor Byrne emphasises the urgent need for transformative change and stresses that collaboration with industry partners is essential to support cutting-edge research driving this transformation.

Joining Professor Byrne on the UL research team for Climate+ are Dr. Gerard Dooly from the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering, employing drone technology to study bird habitats, and Associate Professor John Garvey from the Department of Accounting and Finance in the Kemmy Business School. Professor Garvey's focus is on financial institutions and markets, specifically identifying conditions needed to unlock financial flows towards biodiversity protection and restoration.

Expressing delight at UL's role in the Centre, UL Vice President of Research Professor Norelee Kennedy underscores the university's commitment to addressing the grand challenge of climate action and sustainability. Kennedy looks forward to continued partnerships across Ireland, contributing to meaningful changes that will impact future generations.

The Climate+ initiative is set to commence formally on January 1st, 2024, funded initially over six years by Science Foundation Ireland, the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, and UK Research and Innovation. More than 30% of the centre's co-funding will come from 29 industry partners.

This collaborative effort brings together 60 leading scientists from 14 academic partner institutions in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Great Britain. The academic partner institutions include Trinity College Dublin, Maynooth University, University of Galway, University College Cork, Dublin City University, University College Dublin, Atlantic Technological University, University of Limerick, Queen’s University Belfast, Ulster University, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, University of Reading, Newcastle University, and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.

The Centre's leadership team comprises Professor Yvonne Buckley from Trinity College Dublin, Professor Mark Emmerson from Queen’s University Belfast, and Professor Ed Hawkins from the University of Reading.

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Source: UL

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