The Big Interview

‘2023 is a pivotal year’ – Ireland’s climate tsar on how to avert environmental disaster

Marie Donnelly, chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council, on rising sea levels and why she’s ‘cautiously optimistic about agriculture’

Marie Donnelly, chair, Climate Change Advisory Council: ‘I am quite cautiously optimistic about agriculture, because modernisation will allow it to make a balanced contribution.’ Picture: John Allen

Ireland is not prepared for climate change, according to Marie Donnelly. Donnelly is two-and-a-half years into her term as chair of the state’s Climate Change Advisory Council and is still waiting to see a comprehensive plan or budget for managing the coming impact of climate change in Ireland.

“The areas that are definitively going to be impactful for Ireland are, firstly, sea level temperatures and rising sea levels. We are an island, we have urban communities in proximity to the sea, and our sea level is rising. That’s going to be a problem in the next 40 to 50 years. We haven’t any plan at the moment to deal with that,” Donnelly tells the Business Post.