NI Must Act on Climate Change

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 20 September 2007

Reference: ENV 04/07

Chairman of the Assembly’s Environment Committee Patsy McGlone MLA has welcomed discussions on Climate Change and he has said ‘we all must play our part in protecting the environment’.
The SDLP Mid Ulster Assembly Member stated, “We had a very useful and interesting meeting in relation to Climate Change and the role of the Northern Ireland Assembly in helping to reduce our carbon footprint.

“I very much welcome work currently being undertaken by the UK and Irish governments on climate change. However, the Northern Ireland Assembly must take a pro-active and leadership role in promoting measures for a healthier and cleaner environment for all.

“It is essential that a Northern Ireland Climate Change sub committee is set up to ensure that we are all working together to reduce carbon emissions.

“We inherit this world from our children and we all have a duty to protect the environment for generations to come. If we are to have meaningful action on Climate Change that means we need everyone actively working to make a difference. The Northern Ireland Assembly must lead on this, so that organisations and individuals across the north are encouraged to reduce their carbon footprints.”

The Northern Ireland Assembly’s Environment Committee response to UK Climate Change Bill

The Committee for the Environment:
 Supports UK carbon reduction targets as set out in the draft UK Bill.
 Believes that we should sign up to the UK Bill as presented but with a commitment to provide for Northern Ireland targets at a future point.
 Believes that we need specific Northern Ireland representation on the Independent Climate Change Committee.
 Believes that the Independent Climate Change Committee should provide advice independently to the Northern Ireland Executive as well as the UK Government.
 Believes that there is a need for an independent sub-committee structure (in an independent Climate Change Committee) within Northern Ireland.
 Considers the enabling powers as helpful for the introduction, subject to Northern Ireland consent, of other climate change initiatives.
 Foresees other Northern Ireland initiatives on climate change mitigation that would avail of the enabling provisions. The Committee believe that the relevant Department could carry out a scoping exercise to identify such initiatives which could be facilitated through the proposed sub-committee structure.
 Believes that the reporting arrangements and frequency are adequate.
 Believes that the Northern Ireland Executive require a separate reporting line on Northern Ireland carbon performance.

The Committee for the Environment support the Climate Change Coalition Northern Ireland recommendations for:
1. A process whereby the Assembly can consent to the draft UK Climate Change Bill.
2. Carbon reduction strategies that will reduce emissions at the same time as the UK as a whole.
3. The establishment of a Northern Ireland sub-committee of the proposed Climate Change Committee.

The Committee will next meet on Thursday 27 September 2007 at 10.30am in Room 144, Parliament Buildings.

Committee Membership: -

Patsy McGlone, Chairperson
Cathal Boylan, Deputy Chairperson
Billy Armstrong
Trevor Clarke
David Ford
Tommy Gallagher
Samuel Gardiner
Alex Maskey
Ian McCrea
Daithí McKay
Peter Weir

Information about today’s meeting can be obtained from: -

Paddy Price
Information Office, Parliament Buildings
Tel: 028 90521137

Ms Patricia Casey
Clerk to the Committee
Committee for the Environment,
Room 245,
Parliament Buildings,
Belfast BT4 3XX.

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