Ireland hosts IPCC meeting on Climate Change, Food Security and Agriculture

Date released: May 27 2015, 9:57 AM

Over the next three days, Ireland, through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will host a meeting for over 60 global experts on climate change, food security and agriculture. The experts will consider the state of scientific understanding about food production, an issue that is central to global actions on climate change.  

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has already found signals that global food production is been impacted by climate change.  These finding were reported to world Governments at a meeting in Lima last December. The expert meeting in Dublin will assess new information and consider what further steps the IPCC can take on this topic, as it prepares to embark on a new cycle of work.   It is being attended by the acting Chair of the IPCC and Chairs of its three main working groups, reflecting the priority given to this issue by the IPCC.

Speaking ahead of the meeting Laura Burke, Director General of the EPA said, 

“Food, and its production, is fundamental to life and we need to ensure that global food production is not threatened by climate change.  However, food production is directly, and indirectly, a significant source of the three main greenhouse gases; carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.  Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is something that we need to accomplish here in Ireland, in Europe and globally.

“The EPA recognises that targeted scientific research and innovation is needed to address this challenge. Ireland needs to invest to find solutions for own particular set of circumstances and these solutions can also provide global opportunities.  The IPCC is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change and its reports point the way for climate change solutions.  On behalf of the EPA, I am pleased to welcome the IPPC to Dublin this week to continue its important work.”

The meeting comes days after the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, speaking in Dublin Castle, highlighted that climate change and food security were intrinsically interlinked.  He stated that,

“Today one cannot be a leader on hunger without also being a leader in climate change.”


Notes to Editor:

Expert Meeting on Climate Change, Food and Agriculture (Dublin, Ireland), 27 May - 29 May 2014:

The meeting is to be chaired by Dr Chris Field, Co-Chair of Working Group II of the IPCC 5th Assessment Report.  Dr Field is the founding director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology.  He is also a Professor of Biology and Environmental Earth System Science at Stanford University.  Dr Field has testified before the US House of Representatives and Senate committees and has appeared in various media outlets.  He was one of ten recipients of the 15th Annual Heinz Award with special focus on the environment.

It will also be attended by acting Chair of the IPCC Mr Ismail El Gizouli and Vice Chair Professor Jean Pascal Van Ypersele.

EPA’s Climate Change public lecture series:

Dr Field and Professor van Ypersele have given talks as part of the EPA’s Climate Change public lecture series in recent years. The EPA's Climate Change lecture series has been running since 2007, bringing a range of Irish and international speakers to The Mansion House in Dublin to update Irish audiences on the science of climate change, and possible responses to it. Dr Field’s talk, on 5 November 2014 was entitled “Climate Change Now - Impacts, Risks and Management Options” Professor van Ypersele’s lecture, on 24th November 2009 was entitled “Back to the Future – The Role of Climate Science”.

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