A climate change conference set to focus on issues in Irish agriculture has been organised by the Agricultural Science Association (ASA).

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment Denis Naughten is expected to join a number of leading international agricultural sustainability experts at the event.

The conference, titled ‘Addressing Climate Change in Irish Agriculture’, is scheduled to take place on Wedneday, February 8, at the Killeshin Hotel, Portlaoise, Co. Laois.

Climate-smart land management, alternative fertiliser and ruminant dietary options are among the subjects to be discussed by the line-up of conference speakers.

Conference Speakers

The conference will include a presentation from Professor Rogier Schulte, Chairholder, Farming Systems Ecology Group, Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands.

Other speakers will include 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.

Professor Schulte, 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.

He chaired its working group on greenhouse gas 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,” he said.

The conference will feature a series of presentations and panel discussions chaired by RTE’s Damien O’Reilly and will feature a keynote address by Minister Naughten.

Climate change is one of the most important issues facing the global agri-food industry, according to ASA President Mary Delaney.

She believes Ireland needs to take every step possible to ensure the future viability of the agriculture industry

The ASA welcomes the opportunity to facilitate debate and discussion on this importance topic in order to explore potential solutions.

Other confirmed speakers and panelists include Tommy Boland, Associate Professor of Ruminant Nutrition in UCD, Leanne Roche, Greenhouse Gas Research Programme, Teagasc and Thomas Ryan, Environment and Infrastructure Executive, IFA.