Second Meeting on How the State Can Make Ireland a Leader in Tackling Climate Change

The Assembly met on the weekend of 4-5 November for the second of two weekends on the topic "How the State Can Make Ireland a Leader in Tackling Climate Change".

An agenda for the weekend is available to read here and associated papers are available below. 

The Chair's, The Honourable Mary Laffoy, opening address to the Assembly on the Saturday morning is available to read here

A signpost document prepared by the Secretariat is available to read here.

This Weekend's Speakers

  • Anne Graham

Anne is Chief Executive Officer with the National Transport Authority. The Authority is responsible for the provision, regulation and integration of public transport services, the provision of supporting infrastructure for sustainable transport and for driving the greater use of sustainable transport as a mode of choice. She previously worked with the Authority as Director of Public Transport Services on the regulation and provision of public transport services nationally. Prior to joining the NTA, she worked in the Dublin local authorities as a chartered civil engineer in the drainage, roads and traffic divisions; as a project manager on the redevelopment of Dublin’s O’Connell Street area and as an Area Manager in the South West area of the city.

Ms. Graham's paper, prepared for the Assembly, is available to read here. Her accompanying slideshow is also available here. Her presentation is available to watch back here.

  • Brian Caulfield

Dr Brian Caulfield is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, Trinity College Dublin. He has done extensive research in the field of the environmental impacts of transport and methods to achieve behavioural change in the transport sector.  He is currently leading a large research project called Greening Transport – funded by the EPA.  He sits on many national and international research and policy development committees. Dr Caulfield has published extensively in this field with over 60 journal articles and he is an editor on the highest impact factor journal in this field “Transportation Research Part D: Transport and the Environment”. 

Dr. Caulfield's paper, prepared for the Assembly, is available to read here. His accompanying slideshow is also available here. His presentation is available to watch back here.

  • Connie Hedegaard

Connie Hedegaard is a Danish politician who was European Commissioner for Climate Action in the (second Barroso) European Commission from 10 February 2010 through 31 October 2014.

On behalf of Denmark, she hosted the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009. She was Danish Minister for Climate and Energy from 23 November 2007 and had been the Danish Minister for the Environment from 2 August 2004 to 23 November 2007.

A link to the video presentation made by Ms. Hedegaard to the Citizens' Assembly, is available to watch here. Ms. Hedegaard also provided the following slides to the Assembly which are available here.

  • Andrew Kerr

Andrew is a leading figure in Scotland in climate mitigation and adaptation. He is Executive Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI), a centre hosted by University of Edinburgh, with hubs in Edinburgh and China. ECCI supports and develops early stage enterprises in partnership with the EU-wide Climate-KIC innovation community, and brings together stakeholders to develop and share solutions with cities, states and business.

Andy also co-directs the Centre of Expertise on Climate Change (ClimateXChange), which provides analysis and evidence to support the Scottish Government to deliver its world-leading climate and clean energy targets. Previously, Andy worked in the private sector, trading clean energy/carbon in Europe and Asia, developing clean energy projects, and advising international corporations on strategic responses to climate change.

Prof. Kerr's paper, prepared for the Assembly, is available to read here. His accompanying slideshow is available here. His presentation is available to watch back here.

On Saturday afternoon, the Citizens heard from the following speakers:

  • Gary Lanigan

Gary is a Principal Researcher Officer at Teagasc. He leads the Greenhouse Gas research group at the Environment, Soils and Land-Use Dept. at Teagasc Johnstown Castle. His main focus is measurement and modelling of ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions and carbon sequestration and the quantification of management strategies to reduce emissions and enhance sequestration. He is lead Investigator of the Agricultural GHG Research Initiative for Ireland (AGRI-I) which involves Teagasc and the main universities on the island and is tasked with coordinating research in this area. In particular, he has extensively studied the the optimisation of land management to deliver sustainable intensification.

He is a member of the UN expert panel on the mitigation of agricultural Nitrogen that advises the UN on ammonia abatement best practice and is an advisor to the EPA’s Climate Change Research Program. He is currently a Lead Author on the IPCC Report on Climate, Land-Use and Food Security and he is an adjunct professor at NUI Galway and a bye-Fellow at Magdelene (pronounced Maudlin) College, Cambridge University.

Prof. Lanigan's paper, prepared for the Assembly, is available to read here. His accompanying slideshow is available here. His presentation is available to watch back here.

  • Alan Matthews

Alan Matthews is Professor Emeritus of European Agricultural Policy at Trinity College Dublin. He is a former President of the European Association of Agricultural Economics. He was a member of the AgriVision 2015 and Food Harvest 2020 Strategy Groups as well as a member of the Review Group on State Assets and Liabilities which reported to the Irish Minister for Finance in 2011.

He is currently a member of the Climate Change Advisory Council. He blogs on agricultural policy issues at capreform.eu.

Prof. Matthews's paper, prepared for the Assembly, is available to read here. His accompanying slideshow is available here. His presentation is available to watch back here.

The citizens' also heard from the following, on agriculture, food and land use.

  • Andrew McHugh, Smart Farming Farmer, Longford

Andrew, his wife Yvonne and children Daniel, Hannah and Emma farm on their family dairy farm near Newtownforbes in County Longford. Andrew is also a Board member of Lakeland dairy co-op.

He is a strong advocate of the collaborative nature of the Smart Farming programme.

Mr. McHugh's paper, prepared for the Assembly, is available to read here. His accompanying slideshow is available here. His presentation is available to watch back here.

  • Iseult Ward, FoodCloud

Iseult is co-founder and CEO of FoodCloud, a social enterprise redistributing surplus food from the food industry to the charity sector. Iseult was named as one of TIME magazine’s Next Generation Leaders, was included on Forbes 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs European list, was named as one of Ireland’s top 25 Most Powerful Women by the Women’s Executive Network and recently received a Humanitarian Award from the Muhammad Ali Centre in Louisville, Kentucky and the Special Achievement Award from EY Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

Ms. Ward's paper, prepared for the Assembly, is available to read here. Her accompanying slideshow is available here. Her presentation is available to watch back here.

  • Tony Garahy, Lough Boora Farm

Tony Garahy is the owner/manager of Lough Boora Farm,one of the longest established organic farms in the Irish midlands. Mainly grassland, it produces organic beef and lamb. About 5has of the farm is devoted to organic vegetable production with over fifty different vegetables grown in polytunnels and in the fields. Small amounts of organic fruit are also grown. The farm is distinguished by its focus on direct selling what it produces.

Mr. Garahy's paper, prepared for the Assembly, is available to read here. His presentation is available to watch back here.

Sunday's Proceedings

On Sunday morning, following the opening address, the Citizens' Assembly will hear from the following speaker:

  • John Fitzgerald

John FitzGerald is an Adjunct Professor in both TCD and UCD, having previously been a Research Professor in the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin. He is a member of the Central Bank of Ireland Commission and he is Chairman of the Irish government’s Climate Change Advisory Council.

Prof. Fitzgerald's  paper, prepared for the Assembly, is available to read here. His accompanying slideshow is available here. His presentation is available to watch back here.

  • Sunday Morning

The work programme for Sunday focused on reaching recommendations by ballot paper voting and comprised of several steps namely; agreeing on the issues to be included in a ballot; agreeing on the precise wording of the ballot or ballots; voting.

In advance, the Members had received a note on the voting arrangements that would apply at this weekend. The Members had also received a draft ballot paper prepared by the Chair and the Secretariat with the assistance of the Expert Advisory Group the week before the meeting.

In advance of Sunday, the Chair and Secretariat had encouraged the Members to submit any comments or observations on the draft ballot paper. This was to allow suggested changes to be made to the draft ballot paper in advance of Sunday's deliberations in the interests of expediency, given the limited time available on the day.

Suggested changes were made by the Members and these were incorporated into a second draft ballot paper that was circulated on the Sunday morning. The revised draft ballot paper is available to view here. The Chair's explanation of the revised draft ballot paper on the day is available to read here.

Further revisions were made by the Members on the draft circulated on Sunday morning following roundtable discussions. A copy of the final ballot paper the Members voted on is available here.

A detailed breakdown of the results of the ballot, as announced by the Chair, is available here

Deliberation

Over the course of the weekend the citizens engaged in roundtable discussions, with the assistance of facilitators at each table. Further details on the facilitation process are available here.

Each table was provided with the same Conversation Starters for each session. A copy of those used this weekend are available here

On Sunday, the Members completed a reflective exercise about their views on this topic and what they have learned over the course of the two weekends. A copy of the document they completed is available here