EPA Climate Change Lecture Series – The Role of Communications in Driving Climate Action

Date released: April 27, 2022

27th April 2022: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is delighted to welcome Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, founder and Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and a Senior Research Scientist at the Yale School of the Environment. The public lecture will take place on Thursday 28th at 7:15 pm at the EPIC Museum Dublin and will also be streamed online. This lecture forms part of the National Dialogue on Climate Action.

Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz will consider the role of the public, consumers and political will as an enabler of climate actions. While there is an ample supply of climate solutions to support the transition to climate neutrality and resilience, sufficient demand has been lacking. Drawing on recent international surveys, including here in Ireland, Dr. Leiserowitz will provide an overview of how changing public beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours can both compel and constrain climate action by governments, companies, and individuals.

Laura Burke, EPA Director General said,

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz, a leading international expert on public climate change and environmental beliefs, attitudes, policy preferences and behaviour, and also expert on the psychological, cultural, and political factors that shape them.

The EPA has worked closely with Dr. Leiserowitz and his team on our Climate Change in the Irish Mind study. This valuable project will help to understand how Irish people perceive this environmental challenge, and this can fundamentally change how we all communicate on the topic. The findings demonstrate that the Irish people overwhelmingly recognise the threat, feel personally affected by it and want to see real change.”

She added

“Effective public engagement on climate action is essential as Ireland designs and implements actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across all economic sectors by 51 per cent by 2030.”

You can register for this free event here. The event will also be recorded and uploaded to the EPA YouTube channel following the event. You can also follow the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #ClimateLecture2022

Further information: Emily Williamson, EPA Media Relations Office 053-9170770 (24 hours) or media@epa.ie

Editor’s Notes:

Anthony Leiserowitz, Ph.D. is the founder and Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and a Senior Research Scientist at the Yale School of the Environment. He conducts research at the global, national, and local scales, including here in Ireland. He conducted the first global study of public values, attitudes, and behaviors regarding sustainable development and has published more than 200 scientific articles, chapters, and reports and is multi award winning for his work.

He has served as a contributing author, panel member, advisor or consultant to diverse organizations including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (AR6 Report), the National Academy of Sciences (America’s Climate Choices Report), the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the Harvard Kennedy School, the United Nations Development Program, the Gallup World Poll, and the World Economic Forum, among others.

‘Climate Change in the Irish Mind’ The EPA published the first report from the ‘Climate Change in the Irish Mind’ project in December 2021. This project is a baseline study of the Irish population’s beliefs, attitudes, policy preferences, and behaviours regarding climate change. This is the first nationally representative survey of its kind in Ireland.

This work was undertaken by EPA and our academic partner Yale Program on Climate Change Communications (YPCCC) in support of the National Dialogue on Climate Action.
The approach to the project is based on the established methodology of the “Climate Change in the American Mind” survey conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Centre for Climate Change Communication, which was tailored to meet Ireland’s particular socio/economic context.

The study provides valuable insights to inform and support national communications, engagement on climate change. It will also be used by climate policy and decision makers, research community, media and the non- governmental sector.
The next report in this series will be published shortly, this will focus on a segmentation of the Irish population.

Full details of the Climate Change in the Irish Mind report, together with an infographic which identifies some of the key findings, can be found on the EPA website.