Ireland’s Climate Future will be the subject of a special event in Portlaoise during Science Week 2023 in November. This event in the Midlands Park Hotel on the evening of November 17th will be chaired by well-known broadcaster Claire O’Brien from Mountmellick. The discussion will include Keith Lambkin who leads the Climate Services Team at Met Eireann and Dr Cian White of the Farm Zero C Project. This project won the prestigious Science Foundation Ireland Future Innovator Prize in 2021 for its work on sustainable farming and biodiversity practices.
The event is part of the Midlands Science Festival, which is supported by Science Foundation Ireland as part of national Science Week. Taking place from 12th-19th November, the theme for Science Week 2023 is ‘Human?’, which asks people to consider what it means to be human in today’s world, and how the decisions we make today will impact the ;people and world of the future.
This discussion of Ireland’s Climate Future will leave attendees with a profound understanding of the science and solutions we can bring to the climate change challenge and offer a chance for those attending to share their views on this vital issue. Jackie Gorman, CEO of Midlands Science commented; “climate change will affect everything from how we live, how we farm, what we eat and how we travel among a range of other issues. Come along to this event and discuss the issues and how we can affect change together, informed by science and a shared understanding of the kind of climate future we want to see in Ireland. We are looking forward to hearing from all our speakers including local Farming for Nature Ambassador John McHugh. He is a pioneering farmer from Laois who has successfully integrated conservation practices into his farming methods. His work serves as an example of how agriculture can adapt to meet the challenges of climate change while maintaining productivity and conserving biodiversity. Five years ago in Laois, we had an event on climate change with broadcaster and metrologist Gerard Fleming and it was a packed event with fantastic discussion and we are looking forward to having another great event on climate change in Laois this year” Climate change not only means changes in the average climate such as temperature but also changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather and climate events. One of the biggest challenges facing Ireland is decarbonising agriculture and food production as Ireland’s agri-food sector contributes 37% of country’s overall greenhouse gas emissions and the country has committed to cut these by a quarter by 2030. Ireland has also committed to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The key question now is how can innovation in food systems accelerate the changes that are needed and how can science help with this change? Agriculture in Ireland has huge ties to social and cultural issues across the country. Farming in Ireland is often passed down through generations and therefore decarbonising agriculture presents a very unique set of challenges. All details of this event and others can be found on www.midlandsscience.ie and whilst events are free, they must be booked in advance