Climate change is the “greatest challenge” facing young farmers, the president of Macra warned today (Friday, December 8) at the 28th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28).

On Youth, Children, Education and Skills Day at COP28 the focus turned to young people’s voices and why they are “integral to achieving ambitious climate outcomes”.

Elaine Houlihan said: “Rural young people are acutely aware of the impacts of climate change and their role in mitigating its effects.

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to engage with those attending while representing the interests of Irish young farmers and rural youth.”

A new report was launched today at COP28 by YOUNGGO, the official group for children and youth constituencies in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Youth Stocktake Report suggests that involving young people in climate policy leads to “tangible climate actions at local, regional and global levels”.

One of the key recommendations from the report is that there needs to be youth led climate initiatives and youth inclusion in climate policy processes.

The president of Macra added: “Our young farmers are at the forefront of adopting climate friendly farming practices.

“Developing policies that support, encourage and enable young people to take up farming need to be a part of any climate change action”


Meanwhile the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, is also in Dubai to participate in a series of events highlighting the importance of Sustainable Food Systems at the COP28 Summit.

During the summit, Ireland will co-host an event with the COP Presidency, UAE, entitled “A Sustainable Food Systems Approach to Innovation for Climate Action”.

Minister McConalogue said: “My attendance at COP is an important opportunity to contribute to the global dialogue on sustainable food systems

“For the first time, the COP presidency has prioritised the link between climate policy and our food system, and as a food producing nation, it is critically important that Irish agriculture and food is presented on the world stage”.

Minister McConalogue is scheduled to hold a series of bilaterals over the course of the summit.

“These engagements are an important opportunity to highlight the considerable work being done in Ireland to address the challenges of climate change and food security through innovation and systemic change.

“Through sharing our experience, we hope to play a key role in the global transformation of food systems which will be of benefit to all and lead to more sustainable environmental, social and economic outcomes,” the minister added.