Pat O’Meara from Nenagh in Tipperary is a UCD ag science graduate who worked in the finance sector with AIB before becoming a full-time dairy farmer. He was one of five individuals awarded the prestigious Nuffield Ireland scholarship in 2019, sponsored by The Golden Jubilee Trust.
In 2019, Pat travelled to a number of countries to research how farmers can be encouraged to help meet greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) targets.
Speaking about his learnings, he said: “With the absence of heavy industry in Ireland, agriculture accounts for one third of our emissions, and we need to start leading the way in delivering GHG emissions reductions. My Nuffield Ireland report presents insights into the practises that can help us to do this, including examples from the USA, France, England and Northern Ireland.
We need to act now on the legally binding targets up to 2030
“While the GHG emissions is a complicated area and much work still needs to be done to correct anomalies, in terms of verification of soil sequestration, carbon leakage and the impact of the methane lifecycle, we need to act now on the legally binding targets up to 2030 and influence the regulations for the post 2030 era as we move towards Carbon neutrality.
“My report presents a number of recommendations for industry, including the establishment of an agri sustainability stakeholder forum and measures which should be considered in the current CAP reform.”
While Pat believes that Ireland is in a very strong position with a detailed action plan to encourage farmers to reduce GHG emissions, the following were the main recommendations from his report:
The full reports from all Nuffield Ireland scholars who presented this week can be accessed on the Nuffield Ireland website.
The Nuffield Ireland ‘Lunch and learn’ series runs all this week featuring a 10-minute presentation at 1.30pm each day outlining the key findings of each scholar’s Nuffield report. To register visit www.nuffield.ie/lunchandlearn.