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Agriculture, animal and plant resources, Environment and natural resources

Environmental areas of focus in the Republic of Ireland

With pressure on to achieve EU targets, there has been considerable progress made, with a lot more still to do.

In 2010, the market size of the Environmental Goods and Services sector was estimated to be over €3 billion. Irish food and drink exports are worth €10.6 billion and the Origin Green dimension of marketing for these exports is intimately linked to environmental quality and sustainability.In 2009 a High Level Action Group on Green Enterprise established by Forfás and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation published its report Developing the Green Economy in Ireland.

Directly as a result of its recommendations, €660 million was committed to sustainable energy programmes, water services investment and retrofitting of the public housing stock. A recovery rate of 70 per cent has been achieved for packaging waste, exceeding the EU target of 60 per cent by 2011.

Progress continues to be made on EU Landfill Directive diversion targets for biodegradable municipal waste. Strides are also being made towards developing further investment in water services, wind energy, electric cars, promoting biological waste recycling and supports for bioenergy, supported by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

Environment Ireland is Ireland’s annual conference on environmental policy and management, organised in association with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government to discuss issues such as waste management, planning, environmental regulation, water reform, transport and climate change.

The IBM Technology Campus in Dublin hosts the Smarter Cities Technology Centre, where research is carried out on science and technology for smarter urban and environmental systems such as transport, communication, water and energy. A key focus of the project is to investigate how advanced analytics and visualisation techniques, coupled with solutions such as Cloud, stream, and high performance computing, can help city authorities make optimal use of resources.