Clare Bailey MLA has commented after the Climate Change (No.2) Bill passed Further Consideration Stage in the Assembly today.

The Green Party NI Leader said: “Northern Ireland is now closer than ever to having climate legislation in place. This week’s IPCC report told us that climate breakdown is creating ‘an atlas of human suffering’, and has been the starkest reminder yet of the importance of taking climate action.

“I am disappointed that MLAs passed Minister Poots’ amendment to include a less ambitious target for methane emissions reductions in the Bill. Methane is a greenhouse gas with a warming effect more than 80 times that of carbon dioxide, so it is vital that methane emissions are cut.

“Despite the Minister’s amendment passing, the overall target of net-zero emissions by 2050 secured by the Green Party NI remains in place. This means that other greenhouse gases will now need to be reduced more rapidly to make up for the less ambitious methane target.

“Whilst the Bill is not everything we wanted, the Green Party NI has secured the inclusion of 12 key amendments to significantly improve and strengthen what was originally proposed by the Minister.

“It’s time for MLAs to ensure that the Bill is passed, and Northern Ireland is no longer left as the only part of Western Europe without climate legislation in place.”