The Assembly met on the weekend of 4-5 November 2017 for the second of two weekends on the topic how the State Can Make Ireland a Leader in Tackling Climate Change.
Sectoral Sessions: Transport
Session 1: Current Transport Policy in Ireland- is Climate Change a consideration?
- Anne Graham (National Transport Authority) - "Climate Change: Current Transport Policy in Ireland"
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 delivery of her paper on "Climate Change: Current Transport Policy in Ireland" was accompanied by a slideshow presentation. Her presentation to the Assembly can be watched back here.
Session 2: If Ireland was a leader in tackling climate change what would Transport Policy look like in Ireland?
- Brian Caulfield (TCD) - "Moving to low carbon transport in Ireland"
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”.
International Perspectives on Climate Leadership
Session 3: How to be a leader in tackling Climate Change- the Danish experience
- 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.
Session 4: How to be a leader in tackling Climate Change- the Scottish experience
- Andrew Kerr (Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation) - "How and why did Scotland become a leader on climate change?"
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 delivery of his paper on "How and why did Scotland become a leader on climate change?" was accompanied by a slideshow presentation. His presentation to the Assembly can be watched back here.
Sectoral Sessions: Agriculture, food and land use
On Saturday afternoon, the Members heard from the following speakers:
Session 5: Current Agriculture/ Land Use Policy in Ireland- is Climate Change a consideration?
- Gary Lanigan (Teagasc) - "Current Agriculture/ Land Use Policy in Ireland"
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.
Session 6: If Ireland was a leader in tackling climate change what would Agriculture/ Land use Policy look like in Ireland?
- Alan Matthews (TCD) - "If Ireland was a leader in tackling climate change what would Agriculture / Land Use Policy look like in Ireland?"
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' delivery of his paper on "If Ireland was a leader in tackling climate change what would Agriculture / Land Use Policy look like in Ireland?" was accompanied by a slideshow presentation. His presentation to the Assembly can be watched back here.
Session 7: Agriculture, food and land use panel discussion on leadership
- Andrew McHugh (Smart Farming Farmer) - "Smart Farming An adaptive leadership approach to addressing climate change, which empowers farmers by addressing the dual challenges of improving farm returns while reducing climate impact"
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 delivery of his paper on "Smart Farming An adaptive leadership approach to addressing climate change, which empowers farmers by addressing the dual challenges of improving farm returns while reducing climate impact" was accompanied by a slideshow presentation. His presentation to the Assembly can be watched 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.
- 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.
On Sunday morning, following the opening address, the Citizens' Assembly heard from John Fitzgerald from the Irish Climate Change Advisory Council.
The Climate Change Advisory Council
- John Fitzgerald (Irish Climate Change Advisory Council) - "Tackling Climate Change in Ireland"
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.
- Ballot Paper and Voting
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.
A full transcript of Sunday's proceedings can be read here.
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.
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.
A list of Members at the second meeting on how the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change is available here.