Poots announces Agriculture and Climate Change conference in advance of COP26

Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Edwin Poots MLA, has announced that his Department will co-host an agriculture and climate change event on 27 October 2021, in advance of the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties – COP26.

By Edwin Poots MLA

Belfast South

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The event, jointly organised by DAERA and the Ulster Farmers’ Union, titled ‘Agriculture and Climate Change: A Countryside COP event’ will focus on raising awareness about climate issues, highlighting the positive action already underway, and providing practical on farm examples of action farm businesses can take to address climate change.

Minister Poots said: “Agriculture is a vital industry for Northern Ireland and our economy. Already many farm businesses are taking steps to tackle climate change and it’s important we showcase this positive action to encourage and inspire others to follow suit.

“Northern Ireland must play it’s part in supporting the UK Government’s COP26 objectives to drive forward action to tackle climate change to deliver on the commitments of the Paris Agreement, which includes reducing emissions and keeping the global temperature rise under 1.5C.”

The Minister continued: “The conference my Department is organising in partnership with the UFU is an opportunity to showcase the positive action already underway to reduce emissions and tackle climate and environmental challenges. We recognise that there are challenges but that it is important that the sector builds upon its successes. In particular as we transition to a low carbon economy and society to support the achievement of overall UK Net Zero.”

The event is part of a UK wide Countryside COP initiative, which aims to amplify rural voices, highlight their concerns and showcase their contribution to tackling climate change ahead of COP26.

UFU President Victor Chestnutt said: “The UFU is looking forward to hosting the ‘Agriculture and Climate Change: A Countryside COP event’, in collaboration with DAERA. Farmers alongside everyone within the agri-food sector, have a key role to play in delivering reductions in emissions. We are part of the climate change solution and are committed to tackling the global issue head on.

“This conference is a great opportunity to highlight the positive work of our agri-food sector and to hear from our farmers about what they are doing on-farm, to reduce emissions to date. It also gives farmers the chance to highlight their priorities and concerns as the UK as a whole, works towards achieving net zero.”

DAERA and the UFU are pleased to announce that Lord Deben, Chairman of the UK Climate Change Committee, will address the conference to outline the CCC’s perspective on the challenges facing Northern Ireland agriculture if the recommended CCC target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 82% by 2050 is to be achieved.

The conference will also feature contributions from CAFRE; the Arc Zero Project, led by Dr John Gilliland, OBE; and Professor Alice Stanton from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, who will close the conference by exploring the links between climate, food and health.

To book your place, please visit: www.ufuni.org/events. Due to Covid restrictions, this is primarily an online event.

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