Ireland to host Climate Talks with World Experts in the Burren next month

Press Release

Wednesday 23nd January 2013

Key leaders from the worlds of science, business, politics and culture will come to Ballyvaughan, County Clare next month to work on a new narrative on climate change. The discussions will take place at The Burren College of Art between the 14th -17th of February.

The Climate Gathering will bring together 30 leading thinkers on the climate issue including Professor Daniel Schrag, from the board of scientific advisors to President Obama; Peter Vis, Head of Cabinet to the European Climate Commissioner; John Ashton, UK Climate Ambassador from 2002-2012; Marie-Hélène Aubert, advisor to the French President; Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber head of the Potsdam Institute; and Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson to name but a few.

Convener Eamon Ryan, said today, ‘We were told we would never get the right people to furthest West Clare, in the middle of deep mid-winter, but they are now coming. They are doing so because they share our conviction that Ireland could be at the cutting edge of thinking on climate change and because it is just the place to advance creative thinking on the issue.

‘They are coming because what we have to offer is different.  Rather than seven-star hype and over-the-top security they will receive the sort of genuine Irish hospitality that sets up a safe space for dialogue.  The fact that such talks will take place in a beautiful landscape may help us address the key question as to how we can inspire people with the belief that a transformational leap to a cleaner economy is both possible and preferable. Our aim is an ambitious one, to plant the answer to that question within the participating organisations and to then influence and change the ongoing international climate negotiations.’

The Gathering will commence with a lunch for participants hosted by President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin before they travel to Ballyvaughan.

Jim Miley, Project Director, The Gathering Ireland 2013 today said: ‘I am delighted that Ireland will be hosting such an important discussion during the year of The Gathering.

‘The Gathering is a people’s project so it’s great news the Climate Gathering has responded to the call.  They are not alone. Some of the world’s leading companies and international associations will host events in Ireland this year as part of the Gathering and will invite people from around the world to celebrate with them. We’ve been overwhelmed by the response so far and look forward to a wonderful year of gatherings.’


Notes to the editor:

For further information please contact:

Ryan Meade +353 (0)86 817 6657
Eva Dowling +353 (0)83 149 6045



Who is organising the Climate Gathering?

The Climate Gathering is an initiative of Green Foundation Ireland (GFI) and is financially supported by the Tony Ryan Trust. An expert Advisory Board comprising leading thinkers on climate and mediation has been guiding the development of the project. The initial gathering in the Burren is being organised in conjunction with the “Burren Call” group.

The Advisory Board guiding the development of the project includes the following members:

About Green Foundation Ireland

GFI is an independent organisation oriented towards an ecological vision of society, affiliated to the Green European Foundation (GEF). Through the GEF it is allied with other European Green Foundations, such as Grüne Bildungswerkstatt (Austria); Oikos Foundation (Belgium); Heinrich Böll Foundation (Germany); Alexander Langer Foundation (Italy); Cogito Foundation (Sweden).

About The Gathering 2013

2013 sees the Irish, and all those call Ireland home, reaching out to our many millions of friends, family and loved-ones overseas as well as our connections through business, clubs and associations, and inviting them to visit Ireland in 2013.  The Gathering Ireland 2013 is not just one event but hundreds of events, big and small, taking place throughout the year and around the country.  Exciting gatherings have been planned across Ireland to celebrate and showcase what we are most proud of – our communities, families, sports clubs and businesses.

About the Burren Call

The Burren Call is a group which assembled at the Burren College of Art ( in August 2012 with a conviction that the Burren was a special place where transformational conversations could take place to help address the many daunting crises facing humanity at this time.