The Head of Group Office for Ireland at the European Investment Bank, Cormac Murphy, has said that firms are waking up to the reality of what climate change and the green transition means for them.
But Mr Murphy said that the gap between business leaders and laggards is widening, with more firms adopting a "wait-and-see" strategy despite high energy prices.
A survey conducted by the European Investment Bank found that 32% of Irish firms consider the transition to a net-zero-emissions society to be a risk to their business while a similar amount 31% see it as an opportunity.
The survey also found that the proportion of Irish firms who plan to invest to tackle climate change is below the European average and that there has been a decline in the share of Irish firms investing in energy efficiency.
Mr Murphy was addressing the Irish climate summit organised by Environment Ireland in Dublin this morning.
The summit also heard from young climate justice activists, including Jessica Dunne of Fridays For Future, who told the conference that young people have felt pain and grief and frustration at the lack of action in the face of "climate catastrophe".
She urged government and business leaders to act with urgency, to act in direct and informed ways, and to act with empathy in tackling climate change.
The European Investment Bank survey found that 63% of Irish people believe climate policies will improve the quality of their lives, that 59% believe it will create more jobs than it will eliminate, and that 53% believe the green transition will be a source of economic growth.
The survey also reveals that 68% of people believe they are more concerned about the climate emergency than the government is, that 66% are in favour of stricter government measures that impose changes on peoples' behaviour.
69% of people surveyed also said they would welcome a tax on products and services that contribute most to global warming.