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Public Engagement on Climate Change – The Role of the Cultural and Creative Sectors

5 min read

Public Engagement on Climate Change – The Role of the Cultural and Creative Sectors

5 min read


Public Engagement on Climate Change – The Role of the Cultural and Creative Sectors

In 2019 the Creative Ireland Programme began looking at how the cultural and creative sectors could play a greater role in public engagement on climate change.

We began with a report which included

  • high level literature review (policy, grey, academic literature)
  • scoping exercise to identify and map projects
  • interviews with 32 stakeholders

Here’s the report


The creative and cultural sectors are a powerful conduit for public engagement. It is our culture that shapes how we interact with our environment through:

  • Our habits of consumption,
  • Ideas about nature
  • What we value as meaningful
  • What we think is possible and impossible.

So we concluded if climate change requires culture change, who better to work on this challenge that the culture and creative sectors.


There is a commitment in the Programme for Government to “Support Creative Ireland in engaging the public on climate change through the creative and cultural sectors initiative.(p88)

In response to the Programme for Government, a workshop was organised jointly by the Creative Ireland Programme and the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications in Nov 2020. Minister Catherine Martin and Minister Eamonn Ryan lent their support to work in this area.

Lough Boora Sculpture Park, Co.Offaly

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A number of insightful points were raised and discussed, including:

  • The need for brokers to bridge the gaps in language and understanding between climate science and creative practitioners
  • How to ensure the arts and creative sectors are engaged fairly and not instrumentalised
  • The important of using local knowledge and community-led messaging
  • The opportunities to provide open and inclusive spaces
  • The need to move beyond raising awareness to behaviour change
  • The need to help different sectors to collaborate, these projects take time!
  • The instrumental role of Local Authorities

An Urgent Enquiry – 'Creating Deeper Engagement on Climate Change'

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More videos from the workshop.

In 2021 it is intended to launch a fund to support innovative projects where the culture and creative sectors engage the public on action around climate change.

Featured Image Credit: WESTERN FLAG (SPINDLETOP, TEXAS) Irish artist John Gerrard exhibited at UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) Madrid and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary.

Recent Irish and International Projects

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