Ryan defends decision to spend €2m on artistic projects highlighting climate change

Some 14 projects will share the €2 million “Creative Climate Action fund”
Ryan defends decision to spend €2m on artistic projects highlighting climate change

Eamon Ryan said the projects are about “working with communities”. Picture: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Minister for Climate Eamon Ryan has defended the decision to spend €2m on artistic projects highlighting climate change.

The project was announced by Mr Ryan and Tourism, Culture and Arts Minister Catherine Martin this morning.

Some 14 projects will share the €2m “Creative Climate Action fund”.

The projects are located around the country and were selected from 166 applicants.

According to the Government, the projects are a Creative Ireland initiative supporting “creative, cultural and artistic projects" that will "build awareness around climate change and empowers citizens to make meaningful behavioural changes”.

Eamon Ryan told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that the projects are about “working with communities”.

He added: “It’s starting from the ground up in local communities about how can we make the leap we need to make to address this climate challenge we face.

“This summer, more than any previous one, we have a sense of that, we see the kind of events, the catastrophic heat events happening in North America, the catastrophic flooding happening in central Europe, right across the world.

We're seeing events now happening, which we worried about and predicted and were concerned about. But they're happening in real time in real life.

Mr Ryan said that there was a need to get artistic communities back working and this was an opportunity to tell the story of climate change.

“This is hugely important for us to make the scale of the changes we need to make and how we tell this story is starting by being creative and by working with community and by listening to local farmers, local builders, local towns as to what does it mean for us, what do we do, what can we do, how do we approach it?” 

Some of the money will be used with local communities, he added.

“Like how Olympic rowers inspire people, we need to inspire a new generation of Irish people to actually go into the very trades we need to become the plumbers and the carpenters and the foresters and the builders of the future and to actually inspire them that this is actually going to be for me, my career, my gold moment.” 

There was a need to appeal to that sense of pride on hearing the national anthem at an awards ceremony.

“We need that sense of pride in the scale of change we're going to meet to face climate change, so absolutely it's important that we involve our creative, artistic, music and other communities in this change, they're part of this too.”

The projects include:

  • The KinShip Project: This project will engage the public on climate action through a community creative action programme at Tramore Valley Park, a 170-acre park developed on a reclaimed landfill site in Cork city.
  • ACT Waterford: This county-wide project will work with five communities to promote energy saving, wildlife diversification, increased use of public transport, the development of carbon sinks and to challenge current consumption habits.
  • Decarbonising Together: Five Limerick community groups will identify an aspect of decarbonisation that matters to them and then work with a creative partner to explore and enable behaviour change in their daily lives.
  • Worker’s Villages: The Irish Architecture Foundation will work with residents of three Bord na Móna villages in the Midlands on the changing future for locals and on reimagining a more sustainable future for their communities.

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