Committee to ask on the Future of the Sustainable Development Commission

Alliance MLA Stephen Farry has welcomed the decision of the Assembly’s OFMDFM Committee to write to the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister in a bid to seek clarification on the future of the Sustainable Development Commission in Northern Ireland. He said the group has an important role to play and we need to find out what will happen to the body in Scotland and Wales following the announcement by the UK Government that it intends to wind up the Commission. At a special meeting of the committee today, Stephen Farry, who is Alliance OFMDFM Spokesperson, suggested that the Department clarify their own position and find out about the position of their counterparts in the other devolved regions.

Stephen Farry stated: “I am pleased that there is a consensus within the Committee that this is an issue of concern. Northern Ireland has its own interests in this matter and should not necessarily have to follow the dictates of the UK Government.

“From a party perspective, Alliance believes that the abolition of the Sustainable Development Commission would be a false economy. There are major savings to be found within sustainability. Energy efficiency should be the first port of call for government in trying to reduce costs, particularly in the current financial climate. There is a major challenge still to be met in both the private sector and especially the public sector, which is a disproportionate part of the Northern Ireland economy. There are also new economic opportunities that lie in the development of the Green New Deal.

“Alliance hopes that the Northern Ireland Executive can find common cause with their Scottish and Welsh counterparts in ensuring the survival of a Sustainable Development Commission.”


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