The climate crisis is the biggest crisis facing humanity and our planet. Climate breakdown is not just a crisis of the future, but an ongoing crisis which is devastating lives across the world right now.
Northern Ireland’s environmental record is shameful. We are the twelfth worst region in the world for biodiversity loss, every single one of our waterways fails to meet basic ‘good’ standards, and 800 people a year die from dirty air.
The Green Party NI has secured Northern Ireland’s first ever climate legislation. It's time to deliver on its commitments
The Green Party will:
- Establish an independent Environmental Protection Agency separate from government departments which is responsible for implementing, maintaining and enforcing environmental law including regulation of air, water and land and monitoring the state of the natural environment.
- Declare the Rights of Nature, ensuring that these rights are to the fore as we move to a net-zero future.
- Reform the Planning Act 2011 to ensure it is fit for purpose. Introduce Equal Rights of Appeal in planning. Improve tree preservation by creating automatic protection of trees.
- Implement a comprehensive and socially just Waste Reduction Strategy following the reduce, reuse, recycle model, and focussing on producer responsibility.
- Work with local authorities to identify appropriate land for reforestation and fund native broadleaf woodland creation where nature and recreation are prioritised. We will increase the overall planting of trees to 2,500 hectares a year by 2035.
- Encourage the planting of protective forests bordering rivers and lakes to protect water quality and as part of an integrated flood prevention and mitigation strategy.
- Implement an immediate cessation of all peat extraction on public land. Ban new or extended peat excavation, ban the importation of peat products, and implement a scheme for peatland restoration. Bring nitrogen deposition levels under control to enable peatland restoration to carbon sequestration status.
- Impose a moratorium for planning approvals on any project which proposes to increase ammonia pollution until such time as ammonia levels in Northern Ireland are legally compliant.
- Introduce a complete ban on the use of glyphosate-based herbicides including in local authorities.
- Promote the retention of hedgerows and their enhancement with appropriate species and the protection of existing mature broadleaf trees.
- Fully implement an ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas around the coast of Northern Ireland to act as ‘no-take’ reserves, closed to commercial fishing and other extractive activities.
- Advocate public rights of access to the countryside and coast of Northern Ireland. We will also support the protection of urban green spaces.
- Back the creation of national parks in Northern Ireland.