© 2020

Ireland and the Climate Crisis

  • David Robbins
  • Diarmuid Torney
  • Pat Brereton


  • Examines the recent surge in Ireland’s response to the urgent societal challenge of climate change

  • Brings together a range of interdisciplinary perspectives to analyse Ireland’s climate record

  • Outlines the key factors that constrain or encourage climate action in Ireland


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxv
  2. Introduction and Context

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. David Robbins, Diarmuid Torney, Pat Brereton
      Pages 3-14
  3. Law and Policy

  4. Media, Communication and Society

  5. Community Engagement, Education and Activism

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 203-203
    2. Clare Watson
      Pages 205-229
    3. Fionnuala Waldron, Benjamin Mallon, Maria Barry, Gabriela Martinez Sainz
      Pages 231-248
    4. Sinéad Mercier, Patrick Bresnihan, Damian McIlroy, John Barry
      Pages 249-268

About this book


This book provides a comprehensive overview of Ireland’s response to the climate crisis. The contributions, written by leading scholars across a range of disciplines in the social sciences, humanities and beyond, shed light on diverse aspects of the climate crisis, the factors shaping Ireland’s response, and prospects for the future. Long regarded as a ‘climate laggard’, Ireland’s response to the urgent societal challenge of climate change has seen new momentum in recent times. The volume will serve as a key reference point for academics, students, policymakers, and a wide range of stakeholders. It will be of interest to readers within Ireland, as well as further afield, who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the constraints on, and opportunities for, successful climate action in Ireland.


Climate Change Environmental Literacy Sustainability Irish culture Environmental Communication

Editors and affiliations

  • David Robbins
    • 1
  • Diarmuid Torney
    • 2
  • Pat Brereton
    • 3
  1. 1.School of CommunicationsDublin City UniversityDublinIreland
  2. 2.School of Law and GovernmentDublin City UniversityDublinIreland
  3. 3.School of CommunicationsDublin City UniversityDublinIreland

About the editors

David Robbins is Assistant Professor in the School of Communications at Dublin City University, Ireland.

Diarmuid Torney is Associate Professor in the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University, Ireland.

Pat Brereton is Professor in the School of Communications at Dublin City University, Ireland.   

Bibliographic information


“Ireland has an important role to play in responding to the climate crisis. This volume provides an excellent overview of the challenges and opportunities facing Ireland in responding to this urgent global challenge. As we face into a crucial decade for climate action, it will be required reading for policymakers, academics, stakeholders and members of the public who wish to understand better how Ireland can play its part in the transition to a just and sustainable future.” (Mary Robinson, chair of The Elders, and former President of Ireland)

“This very timely and wide-ranging study seeks to explain the laggardly Irish response - politically, socially, economically and culturally - to the climate crisis.The strong line-up of contributors provides a comprehensive analysis that combines incisive academic scrutiny with perceptive practitioner insights. It will engage scholars, students and others interested in Ireland, as well anyone seeking to understand and improve national and international responses to climate change.” (Prof. Neil Carter, Deputy Head, Department of Politics, University of York)

“Ireland and the Climate Crisis could not be more timely. The key contribution of this book is in addressing an important gap in climate change literature – while there are many publications focussing on the physical sciences explaining climate change and on the engineering solutions to achieve climate mitigation and adaptation – the societal dimensions of the challenge tend to be much more neglected, despite their importance. This book places deliberate emphasis on these aspects that are critical to effective climate action, including law, politics, policy, media and community engagement. All of the wonderful technological solutions to climate change will remain as ideas, or in the lab, or on the shelf, unless these important dimensions that are at the heart of this book are addressed. I highly recommend it.” (Brian Ó Gallachóir, Professor of Energy Engineering at University College Cork, Director of the SFI MaREI research centre for energy climate and marine)

“Located in a unique national dialogue, between the climate policies of Europe and the United States of America, Ireland is a ripe case for understanding societal and governmental approaches to the much needed changes. Grounded in the unique climate change challenges to one country, Climate Change in Ireland, is a fulsome overview that is both accessible and acute.” (Murdoch Stephens, Lecturer, Massey University – Wellington, New Zealand)