Ireland’s first climate change awareness centre opening in 2017

30 May 2016

The beautiful surroundings of the Powerscourt Estate in Wicklow have been chosen as the site of Ireland’s first dedicated climate change awareness centre, with plans to have it open in early 2017.

The new climate centre is part of a multifaceted effort from environmental organisations and academic institutions and is to be called The Cool Planet Experience, with expectations of it giving an interactive journey to help visitors understand climate change, the challenge that faces us and how can we adapt to a carbon-free future.

Founded by Crowley Carbon, the charitable foundation started by entrepreneur Norman Crowley, the centre is expected to cost around €3m and will be open seven days a week, with free access for schools.

The expectation is, judging by the illustrations released of the future site, to have visitors experiencing different extremes of weather, from severe drought to howling winds and raging waters, and hear the stories of those affected directly through interactive experiences.

Climate change centre front

The courtyard of The Cool Planet Experience

Also, visitors will be presented with the harsh reality of what the world will look like by 2050 if we continue burning fossil fuels and engaging in other damaging environmental pursuits like logging.

However, those visiting the centre will be given a chance to then take control and alter that future so as to see their own role in providing the solution.

Can physically experience climate change

Vicky Brown, CEO of the Cool Planet Experience, said: “Climate change is the biggest issue of our lifetime and for future generations.

“The Cool Planet Experience aims to engage all audiences, to enable them to physically experience climate change and illustrate how it will impact their everyday lives so as to encourage positive action now.

“This positive action will enable today’s generation to address existing and future environmental challenges, and ultimately society’s transition to a carbon-free world.”

Climate change science

Science of climate change at The Cool Planet Experience

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic