Sustainability & Climate Action
The impetus for creating a sustainable society has never been clearer. Our economies are approaching the ecological limits within which they are embedded, and we are already experiencing some of the constraints of operating outside planetary boundaries in areas such as climate change, biodiversity loss and resource depletion. Future population growth, changing lifestyles and economic growth will place an increased burden on natural resources, such as energy, water, materials and food, compounding environmental challenges. The global impact of climate change is one of the major challenges facing society in the 21st century. Mitigating the impacts, prevention of further environmental damage and the development of sustainable technologies and energy solutions are key priorities.
Interdisciplinary research teams across UCC link experts in climate, energy, engineering and social science to focus on developing solutions to these key challenges. This is one of the key areas of research which brings STEM, social science and humanities together with each researcher bringing their unique perspective to complex issues.
Particular areas of strength in UCC include research into sustainable agriculture and food, climate, marine and renewable energy and energy policy.
The Environmental Research Institute (ERI) at UCC is a university flagship research institute that brings together over 350 researchers from 17 UCC Schools and Departments and 6 Research Centres to work in an interdisciplinary approach to address global sustainability challenges. The ERI incorporates research centres including MaREI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy, Centre for Research on Atmospheric Chemistry, Aquaculture and Fisheries Development Centre, UN Environment GEMS/Water CDC, Cleaner Production and Promotion Unit and Centre for Law and the Environment.
“Global environmental challenges are very complex in nature with multiple causes and necessitate systemic solutions across the fields of science, engineering, business, economics, health, finance, social sciences, law and humanities to ensure long-term sustainable outcomes. The ERI addresses the need for an interdisciplinary approach to address these problems. The ERI 2018-2022 Strategic Plan will provide the necessary research and knowledge base to support a transition to a sustainable society with a focus on 3 global environmental challenges (i) addressing climate change, (ii) supporting the development of a circular economy, and (iii) ensuring a healthy environment for ecosystems and society”
Professor Sarah Culloty, Director, Environmental Research Institute