Ms Lo was speaking prior to an Assembly motion on the COP21 climate change conference, which began today in Paris. She said while it was a chance for a global plan on climate change, more could also be done locally.
“The need to act on climate change is urgent – for our society, our economy and those in developing countries paying the price for our actions. It is indisputable that disruption to our climate is happening. The world has already reached the halfway point of the dangerous two degrees Celsius increase of temperatures from pre-industrial levels. This means more extreme weather events like heatwaves and floods, melting ice, rising sea levels and increased acidity of the oceans are happening now.
“The issue has dramatic social, economic and environmental implications, which requires action on a number of levels. The Executive has agreed the extension of the Climate Change Act 2008 to Northern Ireland, but nearly eight years on we have still seen no sign of it.
“There is a need to implement a Climate Change Act for Northern Ireland, with legally binding targets to ensure our approach is as strategic and coherent as possible. It is essential we have legislation to ensure we can take the measures to mitigate against climate change and it is vital we have it now.”