A vital meeting in Copenhagen this weekend that will help shape the agenda for the most important climate change talks since the Kyoto protocol has been hijacked by some of the biggest polluters in the world, critics claimed today.
As the January 2006 deadline for implementation of the EU Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings draws ever nearer, the Irish Government has spelt out its plans to delay the across the board introduction of building energy ratings until 2009. But how does this compare to other EU Member States?
If one was to draw a conclusion on how seriously sustainability is being taken at government level using the number of occurrences of the word "sustainable" in policy documents, housing guidelines and speeches from Ministers, it would come across that Ireland's on a sound sustainable footing.
The Passive House standard, an internationally renowned approach to building that negates the need for conventional heating, has attracted considerable interest in Ireland recently as energy prices continue to rise. Vivienne Brophy, Dr Irena Kondratenko, Patxi Hernandez and Kevin Burke of UCD’s Energy Research Group look at the effect this approach could have on cutting Ireland’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions.