Northern Ireland Has Duty to Recognise Impacts of Climate Change Says Committee
Date: 04 December 2009
Reference: ENV 02/09/10
Recognising the impact of climate change on the most vulnerable people and places is a matter of social justice and should act as a driver for Northern Ireland to develop its own climate change implementation strategy. This is the message from the Northern Ireland Assembly Environment Committee which today released a comprehensive report into Climate Change. The report brings together the main findings of an inquiry which the Committee launched in November 2008.
Speaking at the launch, the Committee Chairperson, Dolores Kelly, MLA said: “To date, Northern Ireland is the only UK jurisdiction without a strategy to help achieve the targets set in the UK Climate Change Act. It is the Committee’s recommendation that Northern Ireland develops its own climate change implementation strategy as a matter of urgency and take responsibility for making a fair and proportionate contribution to meeting UK Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction targets.
Dolores Kelly MLA continued: “Currently responsibility for Climate Change sits with the Department of the Environment and we would call on the Department to establish its own emission targets based on sound local science and the most cost-effective approach for Northern Ireland.
“Wherever possible, the Committee would like to see a mix of incentives and penalties used to influence behavioural and attitudinal change towards climate change.”
The Report also recommends that the Northern Ireland Audit Office be tasked and funded to assess progress on climate change objectives across government, in addition to continued scrutiny by the Committee.
Following on from this report the Committee will be commissioning its own research to better inform it on the cost implications of addressing climate change in Northern Ireland.