Clare Bailey MLA on an important day for climate action here in Northern Ireland
Wednesday 09 December 2020
Clare Bailey MLA has welcomed the publication of a consultation on new Northern Ireland Climate Legislation on the same day as the Commission for Climate Change set a 82% carbon emission reduction target for Northern Ireland.
Clare Bailey MLA said: "The consultation on specific climate legislation for Northern Ireland is important and if we needed any evidence of the urgent need to act, the Commission for Climate Change report provided just that.
"Northern Ireland is lagging behind other devolved regions in terms of our rate of reducing carbon emissions. In total, the UK reduced carbon emissions by 43% between 1990 and now. Scotland managed a 45% reduction and Wales a 31% reduction in emissions. Northern Ireland limped home with a 20% reduction in carbon emissions since 1990 until 2014 when we have ceased to make any further reductions.
"The Commission's report also set out the energy sector as having made a positive contribution towards carbon emission reduction. The sector managed notable progression with a 46% reduction in emissions since 1990. The agriculture sector however, has again been identified as NI’s carbon problem, producing 27% of Northern Ireland's emissions.
"NI Executive policy continues to incentivise scale over sustainability when it comes to our agri-food sector. The environmental consequences have been devastating. It's clear that any new climate legislation must address this as a priority area to reduce emissions and sustain farming for the future.
"Climate breakdown is the defining issue of our time. The effects of climate breakdown won't pause for consultation findings or report publications. It's time to listen to and act on the science of climate breakdown."ENDS