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RTÉ is drafting models, influencers and a veteran weatherman for week of climate crisis content

RTÉ On Climate will see content across tv, radio and online on the global climate crisis.

Roz Purcell and Tara Stewart will explore sustainable fashion in a podcasts series called Dirty Laundry.
Roz Purcell and Tara Stewart will explore sustainable fashion in a podcasts series called Dirty Laundry.
Image: Andres Poveda

RTÉ HAS ENLISTED the help of models, online influencers, and some veteran broadcasters for its weeklong look at the climate crisis. 

DJ Tara Stewart, models Roz Purcell and Nadia Forde, and broadcaster Lauren Guilfoyle are among the names involved in RTÉ’s upcoming climate series. 

Starting on 11 November, the national broadcaster will be running investigations, events and debates on climate and environmental issues on TV, radio, and online. 

Green issues have been pushed to the forefront of the political conversation in Ireland in the last year, inspired in part by the work of activists like Greta Thunberg. 

This year’s European elections saw the Greens scale new heights across northwestern Europe and here at home, signalling a change in the public interest when it comes to climate change, resulting in this year’s Budget featuring plenty of green measures. 

Dee Forbes, RTÉ Director-General, said the weeklong climate series reflects the growing concern, globally and here at home, and “offers a whole range of content that not only analyses where we are and how we got here but looks at what we can do”. 

“RTÉ On Climate is our contribution to framing, explaining and, ultimately, moving us all one step closer to solving the problem,” Forbes said.

The week will kick off with the one hour documentary, Will Ireland survive 2050? Meteorologist Gerald Fleming and environmental scientist Dr Cara Augustenborg examine the consequences of extreme global weather and will feature representations of what Ireland could look like if considerable action is not taken.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Augustenborg said 2050 is looking “uncomfortable” for Ireland at the moment. 

“The big concern for Ireland in 2050 with respect to weather is around flooding, rising sea levels, and storm surges. Over half of the population lives near coastlines so that’s putting a lot of people at threat of future flooding events.” 

She explained that the focus of the documentary is on the link between climate and weather, which she says is a good opening to RTÉ’s climate series as Irish people have such an affinity for the weather. 

“Certainly, our weather is going to become more extreme. Here in Ireland where we have such variable weather and we love talking about it so much. It’s a good way to engage people in climate because the climate is the long-term trends in the weather,” Augustenborg said. 

What Planet Are You On?

On 11 November, RTÉ Player will also be releasing a four-part series called My Best Sustainable Life, which follows model Nadia Forde, comedy duo 2 Johnnies, broadcaster Lauren Guilfoyle, Dublin band Thumper and dragqueen Bonnie Ann Clyde as they take on the commitment to change one aspect of their life to help the planet. 

Bonnie Ann Clyde, who is also a makeup artist, delves into the world of cosmetics and searches for sustainable alternatives, an area Bonnie said is easily forgotten in the climate conversation. 

“Your number one priority when you’re doing drag is to look your best. There are some things that are unavoidable, you kind of just have to do for drag.

“I’d wear more makeup than the average person but I think the main point here is if you’re just wearing day-to-day makeup there are so many things that can be adjusted.” 

Also coming up on the schedule is What Planet Are You On, a new three-part series, which will look at families tackling real challenges in the areas of water, waste, energy and food and in their homes.

In Hot Air- Ireland’s Climate Crisis, Phillip Boucher- Hayes will look at what it’s going to take for Ireland to play its part in solving the problem and the biggest areas to be addressed to meet the emissions reduction targets Ireland has signed up to.

Today, new figures from the Environmental Protection Agency showed that Ireland missed its greenhouse gas emissions targets for the third year running. The EPA said that with oil heating still the predominant heating fuel there is a significant challenge in dealing with extreme weather events in a sustainable way.

Journalist Paul Cunningham will also have a series of reports from the Arctic Circle where he’ll visit the western towns in Greenland most impacted by climate change. 

The week is rounded off on 15 November with the RTÉ Youth Assembly on Climate in Dáil Éireann. Some 157 young people in Ireland will come together to form a youth assembly and debate the issues in the Dáil. 

Tara Peterman, executive producer, said that once the week is over the broadcaster won’t be the ending its work on the climate crisis. 

“It’s a growing initiative within RTÉ, across all its platforms, so everyone is engaging their own audience”, climate conscious or not. 

About the author:

Adam Daly

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