National Dialogue on Climate Action (NDCA)

The National Dialogue on Climate Action (NDCA) have a major role in public participation in climate action. The NDCA is a Government of Ireland initiative led by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) with secretariat support provided by the EPA. It was launched (for an initial 2-year pilot phase) at National Youth Council of Ireland’s Coalition 2030 event on 1 March 2017. 

The vision of the Dialogue is to create a long- term process by which the national objective of climate neutrality and resilience by 2050 is communicated to all of society in a manner that creates awareness and understanding towards enabling climate actions across all of society and the economy.

The purpose of the Dialogue is to create an enduring process of widespread engagement on climate action to support the national transition objective and the Climate Action Plan (2019).  

The NDCA has three key objectives that will address the spectrum of public engagement and deliberation:

  • create awareness, understanding and engagement on climate change;
  • motivate and enable climate action at the level of communities and citizens;
  • empower citizens to have conversations on climate action and to inform policy responses.

The operational objects are to:

  • create structures and information flows to facilitate people gathering to discuss, deliberate and maximise consensus on appropriate responses to these challenges, and to enable and empower appropriate action;
  • establish, on a long-term basis, appropriate networks for people to meet periodically to consider evidence-based inputs on the economic, social, behavioural, environmental and public aspects of climate and energy policy;
  • provide regular input, through the NDCA, into the prioritisation and implementation of climate and energy policy which can be reported and monitored at local/regional/national levels.

Delivery on key objectives

To support the delivery of the key objectives, a series of regional and local meetings were conducted during the period 2018-2019 in support of raising awareness, engagement and climate action. 

The evidence base was developed through research, workshops, seminars, climate lectures, climate conference, support of local events and social media campaigns. 

Network and capacity-building was an ongoing priority, which included institutional partnering, building relationships with environmental partners, the arts, culture and heritage sectors. Other relevant relationships included community groups and the youth sector.

The lessons learned from the pilot phase are now being solidified through the development of an enduring structure for the NDCA. This structure will link the local to the national level and allow for information flows between government and citizens, it will also facilitate greater public participation in climate policy design and decision making.

 The NDCA continue to focus on the key objectives of awareness raising, engagement and climate action.  The EPA through its ‘knowledge hub’ will focus on developing the evidence base. The current focus is on developing a deeper understanding of the attitudes and behaviour of the public to climate change. This information should form the basis for targeted communications and engagement campaigns nationally.