The Royal Irish Academy presents ‘Achieving Ireland's climate action ambitions’ Conference, a one-day online event which will showcase cutting-edge thinking on efficiency, decarbonisation and sustainability in electricity, transport and heating.

By addressing climate action from an engineering perspective, this conference, which takes place from 9am-5.30pm on February 25, 2021, aims to encourage debate and discussion and to highlight areas that are of strategic importance as Ireland strives to reach its 2030 Climate Action Plan targets.

Decarbonisation pathway

Ireland’s decarbonisation pathway to 2030 as set out in the Climate Action Plan requires that ambitious targets be met in electricity, transport and heating by 2030.

This programme of transformation is now urgent as the 2020 targets fell significantly short for transport and heating, while renewable energy in electricity was progressing. There is growing pressure politically and from civic society to accelerate progress to achieve the targets.

With COP26 now scheduled to take place in Glasgow in November 2021, this conference provides a timely opportunity to identify how the challenges to implementing the Paris Agreement can be addressed in Ireland by green infrastructure and technologies and by economic and social strategies.

Thought leaders from industry, academia and the public sector will present innovative ideas and discuss climate action strategies under the following headings:

  • Policy outlook
  • Planning electricity and heat
  • Energy efficiency and buildings
  • Sustainable transport and behavioural change


Eamon Ryan TD, Minister for Transport and the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications.


Professor John FitzGerald, Chairperson of the Climate Change Advisory Council

Professor Orla Feely, Vice-President, Engineers Ireland

Dr Phil Hemmingway, Director of Energy Safety, Commission for Regulation of Utilities

Dr Frank McGovern, EPA Chief Climate Scientist

Margaret E Ward, Leadership Consultant and CEO, Clear Ink


  • Brian Carroll, Assistant Secretary-General for Climate Action, Department of Environment, Climate and Communications
  • Professor Peter Thorne, Director, Climate Analysis and Research Centre, Maynooth University
  • Kerrie Sheehan, Head of Research and Technology, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
  • Dr Damian Flynn, Associate Professor, UCD Energy Institute
  • Mark Foley, Chief Executive, Eirgrid
  • Donna Gartland, CEO, Codema
  • Dr Lisa Ryan, Assistant Professor in Energy Economics, UCD
  • Professor Brian Norton, Head of Energy Research, Tyndall National Institute
  • Dr Matt Kennedy, Energy and Environmental Scientist and Engineer, UCC
  • Dr Lorraine D’Arcy, School of Transport, Environment and Planning, TU Dublin
  • Geraldine Herbert, Contributing Editor and Motoring Correspondent, Sunday Independent
  • Dr Eleanor Denny, Associate Professor of Economics, TCD

Book your place now!

Attendees at this virtual conference will have the opportunity to create their own profile and connect with other experts, innovators and decision makers in attendance via instant messaging. Each panel will be livestreamed and feature audience Q&A and live polls.

View the full conference programme here.

Tickets €12 (€6 concession)

Book here:

Organised by the RIA Engineering and Computer Sciences Committee, in collaboration with the Climate Change and Environmental Sciences Committee.

Supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.