Tag Archive for: energy

Call for partners! We are excited to announce our first sector-specific community of practice focused on transitioning Ireland’s energy sector to a nature-positive future.

Since we started work on the Business For Biodiversity Ireland platform, we have identified the need to convene and facilitate meaningful conversations at sector level. We initially formed a multi-sector community of practice so we could explore the prevailing frameworks with a variety of businesses in the Irish context. The next phase of this work is the development of sector-specific communities of practice (SSCoP), starting by bringing together stakeholders in the energy sector.

Why energy?
The energy sector is a high-impact sector, has varied and significant impacts on the natural world and these impacts present risks to businesses and the economy. Equally, this sector has massive potential to activate positive impacts on biodiversity.

Understanding the energy sector’s impacts and dependencies on nature will help inform biodiversity strategies into the future. As well as direct operations, value chain impacts must be fully explored so that nature can be included in business decision-making.

The aim of these discussion- and action-focussed SSCoPs is to convene all actors and stakeholders within a sector and collectively forge a path forward to a nature positive future and will comprise private and semi-state organisations, experts, researchers and academics.

We encourage all partners within the SSCoPs to share their own experiences and knowledge freely, innovate new solutions and work together to help define best practice in an Irish context, taking positive steps towards systemic change within their sector.

Transitioning to a nature-positive mode of operating will be a gradual process that will be in a near constant state of evolution. The SSCoP will convene in-person, three times per year. At the end of each annual cycle, we will produce a set of guidelines for the sector. 

We believe that collective thinking and collective action will produce the most successful outcomes for people, nature and climate.

You can find out more about the commitment and apply here – Nature Positive Energy Community of Practice – https://businessforbiodiversity.ie/energy-sscop/

COP15 in under way in Montreal, Canada and Ireland has sent a delegation to attend these negotiations that will hopefully deliver a plan to address global biodiversity loss.

The talks are centred around the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) which consists of 21 targets that will not only support the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but will serve to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030.

We have eight years to halt the destruction of our natural world or it might reach a state where is becomes beyond repair. So why is COP15 and the GBF important for business in Ireland?

Of the 21 GBF targets, the business community should be tuned into two specifically:


Target 15: All businesses (public and private, large, medium and small) assess and report on their dependencies and impacts on biodiversity, from local to global, and progressively reduce negative impacts, by at least half and increase positive impacts, reducing biodiversity-related risks to businesses and moving towards the full sustainability of extraction and production practices, sourcing and supply chains, and use and disposal.

This essentially means that all Irish businesses, from your local hairdresser to global multinationals operating within the state will now have to understand how their actions and activities impact on nature. How do they contribute to pollution? How are they using land? Does the business contribute to or facilitate the introduction of invasive species? What is their contribution to climate change? Does the business drive the over-exploitation of natural resources?

They will also have to appreciate how their business depends on the natural world, and how the degradation of nature may pose risks to their ability to continue operating. Furthermore, Irish businesses will be expected to develop a strategy and action plan to reduce their negative impacts by half and start the healing process by investing in nature restoration.

Target 18: Redirect, repurpose, reform or eliminate incentives harmful for biodiversity, in a just and equitable way, reducing them by at least US$500billion per year, including all of the most harmful subsidies, and ensure that incentives, including public and private economic and regulatory incentives, are either positive or neutral for biodiversity.

In 2019, the Irish Government spent €4.1bn on environmentally damaging subsidies (Lee, 2019). These included subsidising the use of fossil fuels to the tune of €2.5bn, and €1.5bn to support agricultural activities that could cause significant environmental damage.

For example, rather than providing low income households with fossil fuel subsidies, that money would be much better spent retrofitting older properties to become more energy efficient. Most of the environmentally damaging subsidies are disguised as zero or low tax rates which incentivise the use of a potentially damaging commodity like chemical fertilisers.

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