Blair disappointed by climate change aim in Bill consultation

Alliance Environment spokesperson John Blair MLA has said it is disappointing a consultation into an Executive Climate Change Bill aims to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 instead of 2030 but added the Bill as a whole is a vital move.

Environment Minister Edwin Poots has launched the consultation, which will see the Executive’s first ever Bill on climate change, on the back of the New Decade, New Approach agreement, which called on legislation and targets to reduce carbon emissions. Mr Blair said it was the chance to tackle “one of the greatest challenges of our time”.

“As the only region in the UK and Ireland currently without a specific net zero emissions target and despite laudable attempts, we have not reduced our greenhouse gas emissions in line with the scientific advice,” he said.

“However, it is disappointing to not see a more ambitious target in this consultation for reducing the emissions. This is the critical decade to protect our environment for future generations and we must embrace that challenge.

“Although it falls short of the Alliance manifesto target of net zero emissions by 2030, we are content significant progress has been reached across the parties to bring forward the proposed Bill and it is fair to recognise as a whole it is a vital move.

“I encourage everyone to participate in the consultation, which I hope will go some way to combating the devastating impact of climate change already being felt across the world.”