Dr. John Sweeney is Emeritus Professor of Geography at the National University of Ireland, where he was employed from 1978 until his retirement in 2013. A First Class Honours B.Sc. graduate of the University of Glasgow, he also completed his Ph.D. there in 1980 on aspects of the Meteorology and Climatology of Air Pollution in the Glasgow Basin.
Over the past 37 years he has published approximately 110 scientific papers and edited/co-authored 4 texts on various aspects of urban climatology and climate change in Ireland.
He recently led a number of national research programme into the impacts of climate change in Ireland and into the production of climate scenarios for Ireland for mid and end century. Professor Sweeney has also served as: President of the Irish Meteorological Society (1996-1999), Secretary and Editor of the Geographical Society of Ireland (1984-1996), Treasurer of the Irish Quaternary Association (1982-1985) and Secretary of the Irish Committee for the Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (1993-2001). He also served as the first Chairman of the Royal Irish Academy's Irish Committee on Climate Change. In 1999 he was appointed as one of two Irish national delegates to the newly-formed EU Co-Operation in Science and Technology (COST) Technical Committee on the Environment. He also participated in the Irish delegation at the negotiations leading up to the formulation of the EU Fifth Framework Programme.
Most recently he has served as the President of An Taisce; the National Trust for Ireland. His work has been acknowledged by awards for journalism by the European Meteorological Society; he was the International Kildare Person of the Year in 2008; he received the Geographical Society of Ireland's award for service to society and community in 2014. His contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 4th Assessment Report was also acknowledged as part of the Nobel Peace Prize jointly awarded to that organisation in 2007.