Clare Bailey MLA has commented on the publication of the latest IPCC report today, ahead of the Further Consideration Stage debate of the Climate Change (No.2) Bill in the Assembly this afternoon.

The Green Party NI Leader said: “Today, the IPCC has issued its most serious warning yet about the current and future effects of climate breakdown. Climate breakdown is not just a crisis of the future, but an ongoing crisis which is currently devastating lives across the world.

“The IPCC has said we are facing ‘an atlas of human suffering’. But despite all the scientific evidence, Minister Poots has brought forward amendments to weaken Northern Ireland’s proposed climate laws.

“The Minister has proposed a less ambitious target for methane – a greenhouse gas over 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide. This is in direct contradiction to the UK Government’s Climate Change Committee, which has advised that methane emissions must be significantly reduced, and that no sources of emissions can qualify for special treatment.

“The Minister is also asking for a complete exemption for agriculture from our net-zero target. Agriculture is Northern Ireland’s biggest emitting sector, accounting for more than a quarter of our emissions. To completely ignore and discount agricultural emissions would be both reckless and irresponsible.

“We will not get out of this crisis by pretending it’s not there. The time for denial and delay is over. It’s time for MLAs to step up and ensure strong net-zero climate legislation is passed.”