Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle has expressed his disappointment that the Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Michelle McIlveen, has said she has no plans for a climate change bill for Northern Ireland.
Chris Lyttle said: “Over one year ago the Assembly debated the need for a climate change bill and the majority of members agreed that it was needed. The Environment Minister has now said she has no plans to introduce this bill, and it is disappointing the will of the Assembly is still being ignored.
“If we are to continue to meet our environmental commitments, particularly with regard to the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is essential that a climate change bill is in place. This is particularly urgent as we will lose European wide protections following Brexit.
“Northern Ireland performs very badly when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Overall, the UK has reduced emissions by 36% between 1990 and 2014. England and Scotland have reduced emissions by 38% and 41%, while Wales and Northern Ireland reduced emissions by only 18% and 17% respectively. These figures clearly show we cannot afford to be complacent and need appropriate legislation to ensure we can reduce the damage emissions are doing.
“Alliance has been advocating for climate change legislation for many years, particularly through our work on Assembly Environment committees. I would urge the Minister to reconsider her decision and move urgently to protect our environment.”