An Taisce, as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations, has invited renowned climate scientist Professor Kevin Anderson to Ireland to take part in the series of important talks and meetings as detailed below. 

More than a decade ago, Prof. Anderson was among the first scholars in the world to apply the concept of a rapidly depleting “global carbon dioxide budget” to the development of national climate mitigation policies. He focussed especially on the implications for rapid scaling back of fossil fuel use in relatively wealthy nations, on a good faith basis of fairness, equity and solidarity with the global south. Since a previous visit to Ireland in 2016, also hosted by An Taisce (and shortly after the adoption of the Paris Agreement) his insights have been extremely influential in the evolution of Irish climate action. 

The architecture of the Irish Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Act 2021 ultimately incorporated some key elements of this thinking, and has been hailed as leading to voluntary national climate action commitments by Ireland that are among the most ambitious of any country in the world. These take the form of a statutory programme of rolling, 5 year, “national carbon budgets”, setting out stringently declining limits on aggregate greenhouse gas emissions across the entire economy. 

Unfortunately, just half way through the first budget period, it has become clear that there is already a rapidly widening gap opening up between this ambition and actual delivery, as highlighted by An Taisce following the publication of the most recent emissions projections by the EPA. At this critical juncture for the future of Irish action, in a world already being rocked by unprecedented climate disruption, An Taisce is delighted to welcome Prof. Anderson back to Ireland to share his views on the current state of global and national action, and present his thoughts for how to chart a genuinely global, effective, and just response to these challenges.

Prof Anderson will speak at the following locations during the first half of July. 

Friday 7th July  - Mary Robinson Centre Climate Conference, University of Galway, Ballina

Monday 10th July - Visit to UCC and the MaREI (MaREI is the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine research and innovation co-ordinated by the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) at University College Cork. The Centre comprises over 220 researchers focusing on defined global challenges such as the Energy Transition, Climate Action and the Blue Economy.)  He will also deliver a public lecture on campus. More details to follow. 

Thursday July 13th - lecture in Tailors Hall, Back Lane, Dublin 8 on at 7.30pm with introduction by Prof John Sweeney, Maynooth University and An Taisce trustee.

A Velvet or Violent Climate Revolution: which will we choose?

The deliberate failure of leaders, whether in politics, business, journalism or indeed much of

academia to be honest about the climate emergency has left us facing fundamental

questions of every facet of modern society. Central amongst these is the issue of equity –

both between and within nations. In this presentation, Kevin Anderson will unpick the policy

gulf that exists between the temperature and equity commitments enshrined in the Paris

Agreement and the emission trajectory of so called “developed” nations. “Nature will not be

fooled” by empty rhetoric, subterfuge and unsubstantiated optimism – and nor should we. He

will close by looking beyond techno-optimistic solutions, concluding there are now no non-

radical futures. The choice is between immediate and profound social and technical change

or waiting a little longer for chaotic and violent social change. In 2023 the window for this

choice is rapidly closing.

Short Biography

Kevin is professor of Energy and Climate Change at the University of Manchester and visiting professor at the Universities of Uppsala (Sweden) and Bergen (Norway). Formerly he held the position of Zennström professor (in Uppsala) and was director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research (UK). Kevin engages widely with governments, industry and civil society, and remains research active with publications in Climate policy, Nature and Science. He has a decade’s industrial experience in the petrochemical industry, and is a chartered engineer and fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

The presentation will build on the following work:

Tickets for Dublin event available on Eventbrite

Tickets for Cork event available here

Twitter: @KevinClimate   


Contact  - Prof John Sweeney. Ph. 087 2476516