Portlaoise is the venue fore a major climate change conference next month which will focus on the role agriculture can play in reducing Ireland's carbon footprint.
Denis Naughten, TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, will join a number of leading international agricultural sustainability experts at a major climate change conference organised by the Agricultural Science Association (ASA) on Wednesday, 8th February in the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise.
The “Addressing Climate Change in Irish Agriculture” conference will include presentations from Professor Rogier Schulte, Chairholder, Farming Systems Ecology Group, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Netherlands; Dan Burgar Kuzelicki, Policy Officer, European Commission and John Muldowney, Agricultural Inspector, Climate Change and Bio-Energy Policy Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Conference speaker, Professor Rogier Schulte from Wageningen University and Research Centre, has a particular interest in Ireland’s climate change agenda, having previously worked for Teagasc from 1997 to 2016 in the area of sustainable food production, chairing its working group on GHG emissions from 2010 to 2016.
“Ireland has a comprehensive plan for reducing agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and under this plan, further gains in farm efficiency will continue to reduce the carbon footprint of Irish produce. However, this is likely to be offset by an increase in output volume, resulting in a stagnation of greenhouse gas emissions in absolute terms.
"Additional tools are required to bring these emissions onto a downward trajectory, and meet EU targets for emission reductions. I welcome the opportunity to explore the way forward with those who are helping to shape the future for Irish agriculture,” said Professor Schulte.
The conference will feature a series of presentations and panel discussions chaired by RTE’s agricultural broadcaster, Damien O’Reilly and will culminate in a keynote address delivered by Minister Naughten.
Mary Delaney, ASA President said: “Climate change is one of the most important issues facing the global agri-food industry and, in Ireland, we need to take every step possible to ensure the future viability of our industry. The ASA welcomes the opportunity to facilitate debate and discussion on this importance topic in order to explore potential solutions. We are delighted with the calibre of speakers we have secured for the conference and look forward to considering the challenges, as well as a number of alternative measures the sector can employ to ensure we uphold and protect the Irish agri-food industry into the future.”
Other speakers and panelists include Tommy Boland, Associate Professor of Ruminant Nutrition, UCD; Leanne Roche, Greenhouse Gas Research Programme, Teagasc and Thomas Ryan, Environment and Infrastructure Executive, IFA. The full conference agenda can be viewed here.