Minister of State for Natural Resources and Rural Development Seán Canney T.D. today (Wednesday the 5th of November) opened the annual Geological Survey Ireland Conference, Geoscience2019: Geoscience for Climate Action, which brings together industry leaders, academia and government scientists and policy experts to discuss geoscience activity in Ireland and how the community can focus efforts to deliver the objectives set out in the Government’s Climate Action Plan.
Minister Canney said:
“I am delighted that this conference is tackling the most serious issue facing us today of Climate Change and to see the progress across so many areas being reported by Geological Survey Ireland and their partners. This includes vital work in rural areas such as groundwater flood mapping being developed for OPW, which is delivering a commitment made in the Programme for Government. Geological Survey Ireland is also progressing its tasks under the Climate Action Plan 2019 in relation to offshore renewables, geothermal energy and the Just Transition in the Midlands.”
The one-day conference, which is being held at the Aviva Stadium will address climate action across four thematic areas of geoscience activity:
- Water: Flooding & Drought will showcase new groundwater flood mapping and climate-focused talks on groundwater resource mapping, water supply and catchments from Geological Survey Ireland, Irish Water and EPA.
- Coastal & Geohazards will include talks on coastal erosion monitoring, sea-level rise and landslide hazard mapping from Geological Survey Ireland and NUIM (Maynooth).
- Raw Materials for Sustainable Development will detail work underway and in development in the areas of aggregates (sand & gravel), minerals and soil.
- Decarbonising Energy will focus on district heating and geothermal energy as well as climate policy with talks from CODEMA, Geological Survey Ireland, University College Dublin and Department of Communications Climate Action and Environment.
Climate & Geoscience Research will include updates from both Geological Survey Ireland & iCRAG, the Irish Centre for Applied Geoscience.
The conference also features a range of new climate change initiatives including:
- Ireland’s first predictive maps and monitoring network for groundwater and Turlough flooding;
- Development of a new coastal erosion monitoring system using satellite data;
- Groundwater mapping to deal with water quality, drought and supply issues;
- Mapping of landslide hazards, which are likely to increase with greater rainfall, and
- Development of a roadmap for geothermal energy for district heating;
- Attendants will also hear talks on issues including sea level rise, carbon capture & storage, raw materials supply, climate policy and related research.
The conference will close with a panel discussion by the heads of Geological Survey of Northern Ireland, The Institute for Geologists of Ireland, the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geoscience, and a Climate Policy expert in the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment on the future role of geoscience in tackling climate change.