Published on Tuesday22ndMarch2022

Minister Ryan opens first National Climate Stakeholder Forum

Policy makers and key stakeholders from industry, civil society, trade unions and state bodies will explore the opportunities and challenges that come with the pressing need to accelerate climate action, at the first National Climate Stakeholder Forum being held today (Tuesday, 22nd March).


The National Forum, which takes place in Dublin Castle, is one of the key actions identified in the Climate Action Plan 2021 to drive active engagement in shaping Ireland’s sustainable future. Today’s event will focus on accelerating delivery of our national climate action priorities, in a way that is effective and fair.


Four break-out sessions will be held during the forum, focusing on:


  • Offshore renewables;
  • Retrofitting;
  • Sustainable mobility: active transport and changing from one type of transport to another, or modal shift;
  • Engagement, communications and climate literacy.


These policy areas were selected for the first forum because of the urgency placed on their delivery. They are also areas where immediate or expedited action is possible, because of the availability of existing technologies. Further policy priorities will be explored in future meetings of the National Climate Stakeholder Forum.


A report will be produced following the event, setting out opportunities and key recommendations for consideration in the Climate Action Plan 2022 and broader sectoral areas.


Speaking at the event, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, and Transport, Eamon Ryan TD, said:


“This National Forum is all about coming together, listening to different viewpoints and then working collectively to identify what we can do, and where challenges might exist, to deliver on our climate action ambitions. I am delighted to see representatives here from industry, civil society, trade unions, state bodies and agencies, and policy makers, as well as representatives from the National Youth Assembly on Climate. I look forward to hearing what will undoubtedly be lively discussions and, most importantly, listening to the innovative suggestions that are put forward to overcome any challenges that exist. This type of national dialogue is vital to ensuring that we are delivering on our transition to a lower-carbon future in a way that is inclusive, fair and effective.”


The National Climate Stakeholder Forum was chaired by Professor Alan Barret of the ESRI, who said:


“Since 2015, I have had the honour of chairing the annual National Economic Dialogue. I am now honoured to be asked to chair this first National Climate Stakeholder Forum. The forum is being held at a crucial time for Ireland, as it accelerates its journey to carbon neutrality. The Climate Act 2021 and the Climate Action Plan 2021 have been critical milestones in the shift towards a more sustainable future.


“We know from research that stakeholders and the public are aware of climate change, supportive of climate action, and are willing to act. We also know that this transition will present challenges. This forum represents a fantastic opportunity to identify challenges and co-create solutions to support the Government, businesses and communities in taking climate action.”






Break-out sessions on policy areas


The break-out sessions on the four policy areas are being chaired by senior civil servants and include independent rapporteurs. The rapporteurs will work with the group, to collate the findings from the discussion into recommendations for consideration and review by the wider forum.


Rapporteurs include: Ms Niamh Garvey, NESC; Prof Lisa Ryan, UCD; Dr Andrew Kelly, Envecon; and Prof Pete Lunn, ESRI.


National Dialogue on Climate Action (NDCA)


As set out in the Climate Action Plan 2021, the National Dialogue on Climate Action (NDCA) is the key mechanism for facilitating social dialogue as part of the just transition. The NDCA includes awareness-raising, and ensuring community engagement and participation. Citizen engagement sessions will be held throughout the year and will be supported by ongoing research. In particular, the National Climate Stakeholder Forum is a key event in engaging all relevant stakeholders in a just transition.


The strong participative approach of the NDCA will assist all stakeholders in identifying and prioritising what the challenges of transitioning are, and how to respond to them.


National Climate Stakeholder Forum (NCSF)


The National Climate Stakeholder Forum (NCSF) was established by the Department of the Environment , Climate and Communications to function as a consultative forum on climate issues, with administrative support being provided by the EPA.