You are here: Home > Our Work > Sustainable Development and Climate Action

Sustainable Development and Climate Action

NESC is working on a number of significant projects in the area of sustainable development and climate action. These include:

  • Energy: This programme of work began in 2024 following a discussion by the Council of the energy sector and just transition including key trends, challenges and opportunities in the energy sector’s transition to net zero by 2050. The programme focuses on how Ireland can achieve independence from fossil fuels by 2050 while enhancing well-being, leaving no one behind.
  • Natural Capital Accounting: This project began in 2022; its corresponding Council Report, Natural Capital Accounting: A Guide for Action, was published in January 2024, and a tie-in event was held on 12th March 2024. On request from Government, NESC has provided advice on natural capital accounting. This work has included dialogue with key stakeholders to discuss how Ireland can better account for nature. In this report, the Council presents a guide for action as to what is required in order to value, recognise and bring considerations of nature more effectively into policy decision-making in Ireland.
  • Just Transition in Ireland: NESC has provided a number of advisory reports to the Irish government on Just Transition. NESC’s first report on just transition was published in 2019 in response to a request from the government to exploring employment vulnerability arising from the climate and digital transitions. In 2023 NESC published a second report on just transition, Just Transition in Agriculture and Land Use; a tie-in event was held in the Convention Centre Dublin on 30th June 2023 (to view photos taken on the day please click here). Recently, NESC has engaged in a government taskforce that has considered the function and structure of a proposed Just Transition Commission in Ireland. A current focus area of our work is on the energy system transition, including a just transition lens.
  • Placed-based research: Commissioned research from Dr Niamh Moore Cherry (UCD) and colleagues to explore place-based opportunities for policy and practice in transition through rural case studies will be published in the coming months.

Other recently completed work includes:

NESC has integrated sustainable development research with its core work programme to foster synergies and integration across environmental, social and economic sustainable development. We receive annual research funding from the Department of Environment, Climate Action and Communications.

Follow us @NESCireland