Tuesday 21 October 2020
Green Party NI leader Clare Bailey MLA has laid a ground-breaking new Climate Change Bill, submitted to the NI Assembly today.
The draft legislation has been drawn together by a coalition of legal professionals, scientists, academics and environmental organisations and comes after months of behinds the scenes work.
Clare Bailey MLA said:
"Three months ago, our Environment Minister told the Assembly that it would be impossible to introduce climate legislation within a three-month timeframe.
“The climate coalition have made possible what the Environment Minister said was impossible. It's testament not only to the expertise of the coalition, but their genuine commitment to address climate breakdown as the defining issue of our time.
"A Climate Change Bill for Northern Ireland is, to coin a phrase, oven-ready!"
Clare Bailey MLA added:
"This draft legislation has cross party and cross community support. Climate breakdown and the ecological crisis transcend our typically polarised political system.
“The Green Party NI has been calling for specific climate legislation for Northern Ireland for many years and so cross-party support is a welcome development. The NI Assembly declared a climate emergency earlier this year and the bill gives effect to some of the legally binding targets that are needed to address the emergency.
"The bill contains targets around achieving net zero carbon by 2045, enabling Northern Ireland to become climate resilient and to achieve an environmentally sustainable economy. These measures are much needed. Northern Ireland is falling behind on a raft of climate targets and indicators.
“For example, we need to make a 35% reduction in emissions against 1990 levels by 2030 to meet our Paris Agreement commitments. meanwhile our air is noxious, the quality of our inland waterways is in decline and many native species are facing extinction. Time is not on our side.
"I look forward on taking this bill forward and I am delighted that it is co-sponsored by Sinn Fein, SDLP, UUP, Alliance and Independent MLAs.
“We it to our citizens to make the just transition to a low carbon economy, leaving no one behind."
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498