As COP27 rolls into its second week, many of us who have been following developments at the United Nations climate conference may be feeling a little bit overwhelmed.

"We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator," UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told attendees in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, at the start of the week.

This starkest of warnings has been followed by plenty of talk and detail on the human and financial cost of climate change, as world leaders continue with their crunch negotiations.

The climate crisis, clearly, is no laughing matter.

Or is it?

Some climate communicators believe comedy can help to bring people together around what Guterres described as "the defining issue of our age and the central challenge of our century".

Diane O'Connor performs her show 'The Accidental Activist' at Axis Theatre in Ballymun

That's what stand-up comedian Diane O'Connor was aiming to do when she took to the stage in Ballymun earlier this week.

She was performing her show 'The Accidental Activist' at the Axis Ballymun arts centre.

"'The Accidental Activist' name came to me because I never really intended to be an activist. But I was always vocal about causes that I was really passionate about and one of those was the environment.

"Then I started to think that's actually a funny narrative for a comedy show. Me, as a person, who is an activist but she hasn't even quite realised it".

Diane's show doesn't pull any punches.

"As we might know, COP27, is on at the moment," she tells the audience. "And it was COP26 last year. So, at this stage, they are starting to feel a bit like the Fast & Furious films, aren't they? You know, the only clear winner is diesel".

As a comedian, Diane likes to "play with social awkwardness".

"I like to break down barriers and have conversations in a different format. When I was pregnant, I had a show about pregnancy and then another show about breast feeding and the social awkwardness that can come with breast feeding in public.

"I think why the climate emergency, the climate crisis really lends itself to comedy is because it's really difficult to talk about. Even though we are all aware of it, it's not being responded to in the way you'd imagine a catastrophe to be responded to and I think there's a lot of comedy in that".

During her show, Diane draws a "typical" activist with help from the audience

But Diane also aims to provide hope for anyone "worried, angry or eager to do more" about the climate crisis.

"Comedy can really help us talk about the climate crisis. It diffuses that tension. It helps us feel a bit more relaxed. So, I think comedy helps us to breathe through it a bit better.

"I've been angry at everybody," she tells the audience. "I've been angry at my friends, my family, Derek the postman. But I've been angry at the wrong people. I have to remember who I'm angry at. And it's not Bernadette from work for making a balls out of the recycling.

"I'm not saying she doesn't need a good word or two for emptying her half-full carton of potato and onion soup in on top of clean recycling. But she's not the big problem. None of us are".

Ultimately, Diane wants to use her activism through comedy to make a change.

"The capitalist system isn't set up to be the friend of the environment. That's not the system I want. I want a fairer, better system that allows people and our environment to flourish"

The show was supported by the Axis Assemble Artist Support Programme and directed by Kelly Shatter.

In our 'Climate Heroes' series of reports, we shine a light on the people who are stepping up to protect the environment and tackle climate change. While these people come from all walks of life, they share a common purpose to improve the world around us