Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, has welcomed the Government decision to join the EU Integrated Carbon Observation System – European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ICOS-ERIC or ICOS). This will enable the State to consolidate and develop high-quality scientific climate measurements, so that Ireland can manage its greenhouse gas budgets more effectively.
The move follows close consultation with the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, whose Departments and agencies will work closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in establishing and maintaining ICOS in Ireland.
ICOS consists of a network of greenhouse gas measurement sites across Europe, currently in 14 countries, with Ireland to be the fifteenth. It produces high-precision, long-term scientific greenhouse gas measurements at each site. These climate observations help to improve our understanding of greenhouse gas emissions sources and their uptake by so-called carbon sinks in our forests, soils and seas. The observations also give insights into the human and natural causes of both emissions and sinks, and provide the knowledge and evidence base to inform climate policy to more effectively manage our national carbon budgets.
As part of this process the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be designated as the ICOS National Focal Point to co-ordinate and manage Ireland’s engagement with the network. The EPA will link activities (and related research) in Ireland with activities across the ICOS network and will contribute to the overall governance and development of the network.