Imagining 2050

Project Info

Organisation EPA, SEAI, UCC

Project Description

Imagining2050 is a transdisciplinary research consortium with researchers from University College Cork and Queens University Belfast. Imagining2050 seeks to consolidate in a single project existing research capacity in Ireland in terms of societal transitions, climate mitigation and climate adaptation.  Imagining 2050 engages with civic society using innovative approaches, to explore and co-develop future visions of, and pathways to, a low carbon and climate-resilient future. An added innovative component of the project is the use of creative communication and engagement methods.

The objectives of Imagining 2050 are:

  • To review the literature integrating (i) transition and public engagement (deliberation) and (ii) climate mitigation and adaptation
  • To develop and implement innovative approaches for climate dialogues using mini-publics to co-construct visions and pathways for a low-carbon and climate-resilient society
  • To undertake targeted stakeholder engagement with civil society agencies and state agencies
  • To generate a series of scenarios and pathways for climate mitigation and resilience for Ireland
  • To test and evaluate a number of novel communication methods to enhance engagement and stimulate dialogue on climate action.

The outputs from the project are:

  • A tool-kit for conducting mini-publics on climate change informed by international best practice on public engagement and transitions which can be found here.
  • 6 mini-publics
  • 4 stakeholder engagement workshops with (i) civil society agencies and intermediaries and (ii) state agencies
  • 8 climate thought-leaders’ forums to inform the development of scenarios and visualisations
  • A set of scenarios for low carbon and climate resilience and pathways to achieving these
  • An assessment of the complementarity between adaptation and mitigation scenarios for Ireland
  • A communications tool-kit composed of at least three novel graphic tools and approaches to capture the public vision of a low carbon, climate-resilient 2050
  • 5 peer-reviewed journal papers.


The outcomes of Imagining 2050 will directly inform the National Dialogue on Climate Action (NDCA) in terms of customising approaches and structures for engagement with society at different levels, and to build public support for climate action plans that need to be put in place in the coming years and decades Given the early stages of NDCA, it is envisaged that the project will work in parallel with the NDCA with findings from the project being fed into the planning of the NDCA over the next number of years.


Funding Body: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and co-funded by Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI)

Project: Transdisciplinary Research Consortium

Period (start to end): Start date: August 2018/ End Date: April 2021

Host Institute: co-hosted by Environmental Research Institute (ERI) and Cleaner Production Promotion Unit