IFA climate change event gets underway in Dublin

An event examining Irish farming’s role in climate change, organised by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), is taking place in Dublin today.

The event, named ‘Climate Action in Agriculture: A Balanced Approach’ is aimed at looking at Irish agriculture’s climate change contribution – and scrutinising some of the received wisdom, particularly around livestock emissions.

The event was opened by outgoing IFA president Joe Healy, and featured a number of guest speakers, including Dr. John Fitzgerald, chairperson of the Climate Change Advisory Council (CCAC), and Dr. Frank O’Mara from Teagasc.

The keynote speaker at the event will be Dr. Frank Mitloehner, from the University of California, Davis, in the US, who will look to shed light on certain “misconceptions” in relation to livestock emissions.

These speakers will address the first session of the event. The second session will be addressed by Prof. Alice Stanton of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; Tom Arnold, the chairperson of the Government’s 2030 Food Strategy; and IFA environmental chairperson Thomas Cooney.

When all is said and done, the event will be closed by incoming IFA president Tim Cullinan.

Beyond his base in the US, keynote speaker Dr. Mitloehner, an air quality specialist, has worked in an agri-environmental impact capacity in Australia, South Africa, Paraguay, South America and China. His expertise has regularly informed both national and international carbon policy.

He has a degree in animal science; a masters in agricultural engineering (specialising in the environmental impact of livestock); and a PhD on the environmental management of feedlot cattle.