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Empowering people to take climate action

The EPA has published the EPA Research Report 425: Connecting People to Climate Change Action: Longitudinal Analysis for Informing Participatory Frameworks for the National Dialogue on Climate Action (C-CHANGE), authored by ERI Academics Dr Marguerite Nyhan, Dr Barry O'Dwyer and Dr Yairen Jerez Columbié.


Ireland has committed to achieving a net-zero and climate-neutral economy by 2050. The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021 sets out this ambition in legislation, while the Climate Action Plan defines a pathway to achieve it. A society-wide and collaborative effort is required by government, business, communities and individuals in Ireland to make this transition. To this end, the National Dialogue on Climate Action (NDCA) aims to actively engage stakeholders and the public with climate action across Ireland by empowering people.

To be effective, the NDCA must identify new and innovative ways of engaging and communicating with the public to foster trust, co-operation and participation. It is also imperative that mechanisms for ensuring that everyone has a voice in national climate dialogues are designed and implemented effectively. The C-CHANGE project responded directly to these challenges.

Watch the Project Highlights Video 

What does it tell us?

The C-CHANGE project:

  • Synthesised national and international best practice for facilitating participation in environmental and climate action with a particular focus on the use of the dialogue format of the NDCA.
  • Assessed the NDCA in order to provide guidelines for supporting long-lasting participation in environmental and climate dialogues.
  • Developed indicators that measure the success of participatory processes and the effectiveness of strategies, communication models and tools within and beyond the NDCA.

How might the research be used?

The C-CHANGE project focused on developing solutions and providing guidance on facilitating stakeholders’ and citizens’ participation in environmental and climate dialogues and thus in climate action in Ireland. By synthesising international best practice and analysing the NDCA process, this research has contributed to implementing innovative, intersectional strategies for collaboration, communication models and tools for raising awareness and mobilising societal change on environmental and climate issues at local and national levels. The research outputs provide clear and flexible guidelines that can be adapted to different contexts, sectors and audiences by practitioners, researchers and authorities. C-CHANGE directly informs stakeholder, citizen and community engagement, which in turn provides the impetus and motivation to act on the environment and climate change, thereby accelerating our transition to a net-zero and sustainable future.

Link to the Report:

EPA Research 425: