Energy & Climate Change Sustainability Challenges

Energy is an essential factor for future sustainable development and improving livelihoods of people in all countries. Nevertheless, it is estimated that in 2015 still about 2.8 billion people have no access to modern energy services and over 1.1 billion do not have electricity. Furthermore, around 4.3 million people are dying prematurely every year due to indoor pollution resulting from cooking and heating with unsustainable fuels. Transitioning all economies and societies to sustainable energy production and consumption patterns now stands at the centre of global efforts to induce a paradigm shift towards low-carbon energy systems, green economies, poverty eradication and ultimately sustainable development. The Ryan Institute is committed to transforming our economies from ones heavily reliant on fossil fuels to more sustainable low carbon economies.In this regard, the Ryan Institute’s Energy Research Centre (ERC) and MaREI Galway are at the forefront of research efforts to transition to more sustainable energy systems.

Energy systems and climate change are intertwined. Due to global warming arising from use of non-sustainable energy sources, climate change will have a dramatic and largely negative effect on our economies, societies, environments and poses major challenges to future sustainable development in all countries. Both climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation measures need to be deployed at scale across all sectors and countries, if future human populations and livelihoods are to transition to a more sustainable trajectory than at present. The Ryan Institute’s Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS) conducts research in the area of atmospheric composition, climate change and natural feedbacks, air-sea exchange, and air quality impacts on health and ecosystems.