Catchment News

Cool Planet Experience launched in Powerscourt, County Wicklow

| in News, Stories

The ‘Cool Planet Experience’ was launched yesterday, January 10th 2018, in Powerscourt, Co Wicklow.  Sir Richard Branson was on hand to do the ribbon cutting at the event, and to share his direct experience of climate change when he and his family bunkered down on Necker Island while a Category 4 hurricane ripped through the Caribbean.

What is the Cool Planet Experience?

The Cool Planet Experience is the world’s first permanent visitor centre dedicated to climate change and connects science, engineering, gaming and drama to present the story of climate change in a new way. It Is due to open to the public in mid-February. It is the first of 10 that are planned to open around the world in the next 3 years.

It takes about an hour to complete, and is full of interesting facts and games centred around climate change. It personalises the story to you – at the start you receive a wristband that you tag on, and enter simple information about your day-to-day life. This is then collated to tell you your carbon footprint (demonstrated by the amount of trees it is equivalent to!).

As you go through the centre, you tag on to different interactions or games, culminating at the end with an opportunity to make a pledge. Simplifying the message for our younger generations, this is a fantastic opportunity for kids and adults alike to have a real understanding of climate change issues facing Ireland. More than that, it provides visitors with an opportunity to have a better understanding of their own personal impact and the magnitude of the global challenge ahead.

The Cool Planet Experience will be a fantastic day out for everyone, so if you are heading to Powerscourt make sure you stop by and visit. They are particularly focusing on school groups, so make sure if you have kids in primary or secondary that you start spreading the word. Coupled with Powerscourt gardens it could be a great excursion day for the kids.

Cool Planet Champions

Last year the EPA sponsored the Cool Planet Champions programme, which saw the training of 26 Champions that are available in every county in Ireland to give climate change presentations or to become involved in climate action within their local communities. A very big thank you to EPA Chief Climate Scientist Dr Frank McGovern who helped with the training element of the Cool Planet Champions, and is an advisor to the Cool Planet Experience.

You can contact Cool Planet Experience if you want your local champion to come to your business, group, school or organisation for a free, interactive presentation on climate change, what it means for Ireland and what it means for you.

Learn more:

Who is involved?

Quite simply, everyone in Ireland has a role to play. This can be from something as simple as making sure you don’t pollute your local stream, or a local community working together to establish a Rivers Trust to enhance the rivers and lakes in their area, to a Government Department or Agency helping a Minister implement a new policy to help protect and enhance all our water bodies.

This website has been developed and is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is a collaboration between the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Local Authority Waters Programme.


Local Authority Waters Programme

The Local Authority Waters Programme coordinates the efforts of local authorities and other public bodies in the implementation of the River Basin Management Plan, and supports local community and stakeholder involvement in managing our natural waters, for everyone’s benefit.


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4,829 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives and measures for each.


Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

The Department is responsible for making sure that the right policies, regulations and resources are in place to implement the Water Framework Directive, and developing a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures that will be implemented after public consultation and sign off by the Minister.