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Environmental activism – what is it? And why does it matter?

Join us in UCD on 28 March 2023 for a discussion on the role of civic engagement and social activism in driving climate and environmental action in the Irish context. Our experienced panelists will discuss the different forms activism can take and reflect on the rewards and challenges of this work. This event is supported by the UCD Earth Institute and UCD Volunteers Overseas.

Collective action and civic participation are drivers of social change. Growing numbers of people are engaging in environmental activism to push governments and policymakers for faster, bolder and fairer climate action.

Environmental activism can take many forms, such as contacting local representatives or attending public consultations on environmental-related matters. Such forms of public participation can drive policy implementation, keep public representatives accountable for their political commitments, and provide progressive leaders with a mandate for change. Protesting and other forms of non-civil disobedience are also on the rise worldwide. Youth-led movements are often at the forefront of these campaigns. Academics, too, are increasingly involved in public engagement around environmental issues. For example, a recent study among IPCC authors found that almost all of those surveyed reported promoting climate science through speeches, publications or videos, and 40% engage in advocacy with politicians and policymakers. Activism and engagement on environmental issues can be an outlet for dealing with climate anxiety, but are not without challenges.


Orla Kelly, Assistant Professor, UCD School of Social Policy Social Work and Social Justice (Chair)
Rosi Leonard, Friends of the Earth, Ireland
Saoirse McHugh, Irish environmentalist and former Green Party candidate
Rosalind Skillen, Columnist at Belfast Telegraph and UCD MSc Environmental Policy student
Manuel Salazar, Technology Strategist, XR & Sea Shepherd Climate Activist
Gary Tyrrell, An Taisce, Climate Ambassador programme

Location: Ardmore Annex, Room AA1 University College Dublin Dublin Ireland

Admission is free but a spot must be reserved online.

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