An Introduction to Ireland's Environment

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This clip looks at our rich natural heritage and outlines our impact on the environment from the first settlers to the Celtic Tiger, the key environmental challenges we now face and the need to be sustainable.

Climate change

Human-induced climate change is an urgent global issue and is the primary environmental challenge of this century. Increased levels of greenhouse gases are speeding up irreversible changes in the climate.

Clean air

By international standards, air quality in Ireland is very good but pollutants from road traffic, especially in urban areas pose the main threat to air quality in Ireland.

Clean water

To be suitable as drinking water, for amenity purposes or as a habitat water must be good quality. The most widespread threats to water quality in Ireland are pollution from municipal sewage and agricultural activities.

Sustainable resource use

We all use a range of resources everyday for example, the energy we use in our homes, the food we eat and the packaging on products we consume. By reducing waste, being more energy efficient and using renewable resources we could be more sustainable.

Protected Soil & Biodiversity

Ireland is renowned for its outstanding natural beauty and wildlife but a number of native Irish species and their habitats are under threat from factors like intensification of agriculture, drainage of wetlands and climate change.

Integration & Enforcement

Environmental considerations need to be integrated into all policies and decision making so that responsible environmental behaviour becomes the norm across all sectors of society. Those who flout environmental laws will be held to account.