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‘The imperative of climate action to protect human health in Europe’

12 June 2019

A workshop to mark the launch of EASAC's report looking at climate action in Europe to protect human health and to highlight it's relevance in the Irish context.

Chaired by Professor Mike Jones MRIA, the workshop facilitated discussions on the relevant and timely topic of climate change and health. In attendance were senior figures from government and academic departments, non-governmental organisations, and other key stakeholders. In his opening address, the Royal Irish Academy President, Professor Michael Peter Kennedy MRIA, stated that:

‘’The many guests and wide representation in attendance reflects the fact that no one single party is responsible for developing and rolling out the solutions to the challenges this report identified but rather it involves all of us working together; scientists, policymakers, local communities and the general public’’.

The workshop heard a detailed presentation from Professor Pat Goodman, the Academy’s nominee to the EASAC Working Group on Climate Change and Health and Ireland’s contributor the report. The workshop also included a high-level panel of experts in environmental and public health who informed us of the work that they are doing in these areas and who offered their thoughts and reactions to the report and what it might mean for Ireland.

This EASAC policy report seeks to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the broad range of scientific evidence on the impact of climate change on human health. A short summary of the EASAC report is also available, as well as a Royal Irish Academy Briefing Paper that highlights the relevance of the report to Ireland, while all presentations from the workshop can be accessed from this page

About the speakers

Professor Mike Jones MRIA

Professor Mike Jones was elected as a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2003. He is Emeritus Professor of Botany at Trinity College Dublin. His main research interests are in plant ecophysiology which involves the study of climate-plant interactions, particularly the effects of changing climate, and the direct effects of rising CO2 on agricultural and natural grasslands. He is internationally recognised for his research on plants with C4 photosynthesis, their adaptation to temperate climates and their potential uses as energy crops. He is currently subject editor of Global Change Biology and GCBBioenergy and has published over 120 refereed research papers in lead international journals as well as four books and many book chapters. He was appointed a member of the EASAC Environment Steering Panel in November 2016.

Professor Pat Goodman

Educated at University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin, Pat is now a Professor at Technological University Dublin where he is actively involved in research in the areas of air pollution and health, and climate and health. He is also a qualified meteorologist and has been a member of the Royal Irish Academy Environmental Sciences and Climate Change committee for 10 years and represented the Academy on the EASAC Climate Change and Health Working Group. He has been an invited expert with the World Health Organization, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the European Union, and has contributed to many policy documents and reports. Download Pat Goodman's presentation.

Dr Frank McGovern

Frank has PhD is in atmospheric physics from NUI Galway and joined the Environmental Protection Agency in 2000 where he currently leads on Climate Change activities. He is a member of a number of expert bodies and has experience in developing international programmes and processes on climate change, managing the Climate Change Advisory Council secretariat, research management and communication, United Nations negotiations and international policy development, EU systems, structures and processes, and national, regional and sectoral policy development and implementation Download Frank McGovern's presentation.

Dr Ina Kelly

Ina graduated in NUIG, trained in General Practice in Australia and later trained in Public Health Medicine in Ireland (Cork, Tullamore and Department of Health) with six months in WHO Geneva. She is based in the Department of Public Health, HSE Midlands but as Chair of the Public Health Medicine Environment and Health Group, works at national level in numerous environment and health roles, particularly in relation to climate change adaptation.  She is the health member of the Climate Change Advisory Council Adaptation Committee, is a member of the steering Committee of the National Adaptation Framework in the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, and works with the Department of Health towards producing the statutory Health Sector Climate Change Adaptation Plan. Download Ina Kelly's presentation.

David Dodd

David is the coordinator of the recently established Climate Action Regional Office (CARO) for the Dublin Metropolitan Region. This is one of offices set up last year with funding from the Department of Communication Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) to work with Local Authorities on preparing and implementing their Climate Change adaptation and action plans. David is an environmental scientist by Professoression with qualifications form TCD, DCU, Univ of Ulster and IT Sligo. He has previously worked with the Department of Communication Climate Action and Environment as a technical advisor on air quality, noise and other environmental issues, and with the Environmental Protection Agency in a number of roles include the Climate Change Research programme. Download David Dodd's presentation.


EASAC ( – the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council – brings together the national science academies of the EU Member States, Norway, and Switzerland. Through EASAC, the academies work together to provide independent, expert, evidence-based advice on scientific aspects of public policy to those who make or influence policy within European institutions. Drawing on the memberships and networks of the academies, EASAC accesses the best of European science in carrying out its work. Its views are vigorously independent of commercial or political bias, and it is open and transparent in its processes. EASAC aims to deliver advice that is comprehensible, relevant and timely.


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