Clare Watson
Engaged Research Support Officer
UCC Energy Transition, Climate Action Energy Policy & Modelling
University College Cork +353 (0)21 490 1970


Community engagement on climate change and energy, human behaviour and habits, social norms and practice, climate change and energy policy


Clare has a social work background and over the years has worked on many social and environmental campaigns and community-based projects. She was co-author of the book Campaigns and How to Win Them (1997), author of the blog Chasing Hubcaps (2013) looking at the influence of human psychology and behaviour on people’s reaction to climate change and, as a member of the RTE Audience Council, was co-author of a research report analysing RTE’s coverage of climate change (2014). Clare has experimented with low carbon living for the past 20 years and is currently residing in a retrofitted bungalow near Ballydehob, West Cork.


In 2019, Clare completed PhD research in MaREI, UCC on an EPA funded project called ‘Climate Change, Behaviour and Community Response’, looking at why people are finding it so difficult to respond to climate change, and in particular, the benefits of, and barriers to, community energy. She is currently working as MaREI Engagement Research Support Officer, and, as part of a MaREI engaged research team, is supporting the practical development of Corca Dhuibhne/Dingle Peninsula 2030. Clare is also leading a process of reflective learning and the co-production of a series of learning briefs. As well as informing internal decision-making, this work contributes to on-going evaluation and assessment, and to learning for policy and practice.


Responding to the Energy Transition in Ireland: The Experience and Capacity of Communities

Authors: Clare Watson, Evan Boyle, Gerard Mullally and Brian Ó Gallachóir


1. Community Engagement on Energy Workshop Report

2. How do we Engage Communities in Climate Action (e-version)



3. Social Practice Seminar Paper Jan 2016

4. Behavioural Challenges Doc March 2016

5. IGBC Workshop presentation 31 May 16

6. Conference Paper for Behave 2016

7. ‘It’s Not Just about Policy’ Working Doc; March 2017

8. Narrative and Climate Change Working Document Jan 2018

9. Public Response to RE Developments Working Document Sept 2018



10 Irish Times Opinion Piece 27 Nov 2015

11. Article for EPA Catchments Newsletter Sept 2017