The government organised an energy and climate change summit on July 6, where Engineers Ireland was invited to attend and which also included the presence of cabinet ministers. 

Determination to transition towards a sustainable and greener future

The summit, held against the backdrop of mounting global concerns about climate change and its implications, emphasised Ireland's determination to transition towards a sustainable and greener future. 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar emphasised the importance of energy independence for Ireland's future during his opening address. He highlighted the need for diversified energy sources, reduced reliance on fossil fuels, and the development of renewable energy projects. He stressed that the summit would lay the foundation for ambitious strategies and policies to shape Ireland's energy landscape.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin emphasised the need for collaboration, acknowledging that tackling the climate crisis requires concerted efforts across various sectors.

Environment minister Eamon Ryan stressed the need for immediate action and outlined specific measures to accelerate Ireland's transition to a low-carbon economy, mirroring many of the recommendations in Engineers Ireland’s recent publication 'Powering Ireland: An Electrical Energy Review'.

He emphasised the importance of investing in renewable energy infrastructure, adopting energy-efficient technologies, and promoting public awareness to facilitate a smooth transition.

Enterprise minister Simon Coveney underscored the economic opportunities associated with renewable energy, emphasising the potential for job creation and sustainable economic growth.

He highlighted the government's commitment to supporting businesses in transitioning towards sustainable practices and reiterated the importance of fostering a robust green economy focusing on all of Ireland and not just Dublin. 

The summit served as a platform for industry leaders and policymakers to share knowledge, exchange ideas, and collaborate on innovative solutions, with presentations on 'Changing Trends in the Global Energy Landscape' from Brian Motherway (International Energy Agency) and 'Lessons from Denmark' from Susanne Bo Christensen (Ministry of Climate, Energy And Utilities, Denmark).  

Engineers’ indispensable role

Engineers Ireland received an invitation to the summit. The presence of policy officer Keelan Keogh at the event highlighted the government's recognition of engineers’ indispensable role in shaping Ireland's energy landscape.

Breakout sessions focused on topics such as accelerating renewable energy, achieving energy security and resilience, and realising the economic and social benefits for Ireland. 

"This level of engagement bodes well for the development of effective policies and initiatives that will shape Ireland's sustainable future," said Keogh. "This summit will be the start of continued engagement between industry and government through similar events in the future.

"As Ireland continues to navigate the path towards energy independence, the summit has provided a solid foundation for fostering collaboration, innovation, and meaningful change.

"Engineers Ireland looks forward to supporting the government's commitment to understanding the key issues moving towards 2030 and beyond and creating supporting actions. Engineers Ireland and our members have the obligation and skills to support our national ambitions in tackling this climate crisis," he said.