Climate change: UK and Ireland to invest £60m on research

Earth with its atmosphere from space
Image caption,The centres research will focus on common challenges such as food sustainability and climate change

A joint UK and Ireland investment of more than £60m is set to be announced to create two new science research centres to look at climate change.

The announcement is expected to made at the British and Irish Intergovernmental Conference (BIIGC) in Dublin later.

The centres will focus on areas such as biodiversity and food sustainability.

They will bring together academics and policymakers across government departments in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK.

The announcement will be made by the Irish and UK science ministers, Simon Harris and Michelle Donelan, as well as Katrina Godfrey, the civil servant in charge of Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

It has long been recognised that cross-border co-operation is needed to tackle climate change.

Many of the goals in both jurisdictions are already aligned, like reaching net zero by 2050.

So funding these co-centres brings together people and institutions who may already be working on the same things but doing so unaware of each other.

Breaking down those research silos should ramp up the speed and scientific robustness of any findings and also lead to solutions more quickly.

Funding to find solutions is important – but finding funding to implement them is another thing.


One research centre will look at climate, biodiversity and water while the other will be dedicated to researching sustainable and resilient food systems.

Each will be led by a team of academics from the Great Britain, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The programme will be funded for six years with a total investment of €70m (£60.7m).

This is made up of €40m (£34.7m) from Science Foundation Ireland, £17m from Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and up to £12m through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The centres will formally start their work in the new year and be funded until 2030.

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