Agri-professionals from across Ireland gathered at the Ardboyne Hotel in Navan, Co. Meath on Monday, 2nd December for a special training event on the role of agriculture in tackling climate change. The event, which was hosted by the National Rural Network (NRN) in association with Teagasc ConnectED, Dairy Sustainability Ireland and Food and Drink Ireland Skillnet, was designed to help agri-professionals, including advisers and industry representatives, communicate the best evidence-based advice and guidance on agricultural gaseous emissions to their clients.

Opening the event, Philip Farrelly from the NRN said, “Feeding the world while addressing climate change is one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century.  Agri-professionals need to provide relevant technical expertise to farmers in relation to climate change and advise them on how mitigation and adaptation strategies may impact on the day to day running of their farms. This technical training day will provide evidence-based advice and guidance to agri-professionals in relation to the necessary supports needed to reduce the environmental footprint of Irish agriculture.”

Setting the scene, Philip Blackwell from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine provided an overview of the Government’s climate change policy. Mr Blackwell said agriculture accounts for around 33% of Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). He highlighted the importance of early adoption and high level take-up of the agricultural measures in the Teagasc Marginal Abatement Cost Curve in reaching our 2030 GHG targets.

Pat Murphy, Programme Manager Knowledge Transfer at Teagasc noted that without mitigation, greenhouse gas emissions are likely to rise. Mr Murphy outlined a number of mitigation measures, and he explained the marginal abatement cost curves (MACCs), a tool used to appraise the cost effectiveness of climate change mitigation options. A variety of experts then addressed the range of mitigation measures identified through the MACCs, including land management, energy efficiency on the farm, forestry, nutrient management and animal breeding.

For more information on climate change and agriculture visit: www.nationalruralnetwork.ie/climate-change