David Ford said: “The Royal Commission was the official body that first recommended carbon cuts of 60% by 2050. Now these three extremely influential scientists have made it clear that there needs to be a more stringent cut if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change.
“These three men were tasked by the Government with leading its principal advisory group over the last 16 years. Their advice must carry considerable weight.
“It is clear that our weather is changing, and changing rapidly. Extremes of wind, snow and rainfall are becoming more common and more extreme.
“The Scottish and Welsh Governments have already agreed to 80% cuts. When the Northern Ireland Executive consulted last year, they decided on a 60% cut, but agreed to keep the matter under review. This was despite a very strong case being made by the Climate Change Coalition, a group of non-governmental organisations, for an 80% cut.
“I believe that the people are ahead of the Executive in recognising that something must be done urgently to start Northern Ireland on the right road. The time for reviews is now over, and it is time for action.
“Every year’s delay in meeting the targets to cut carbon emissions makes it harder to ensure that Northern Ireland plays its part in reducing the dangers of global warming. The DOE and OFMDFM must give the lead now.”