Public consultation on NI climate strategy launched

A public consultation process on how Northern Ireland will tackle climate change has been launched by Environment Minister Edwin Poots.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 10:05 pm
Environment Minister Edwin Poots
Environment Minister Edwin Poots

The Green Growth strategy paves the way for the transition to a low-carbon economy, aiming to balance the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with protecting the economy.

Launching the eight-week consultation process at Artemis Technologies in Lisburn, Mr Poots said “urgent action” is required to meet the climate challenge.

He said: “We are facing a climate emergency and need to act, and act quickly.

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“The NI Executive’s Green Growth strategy sets out an ambitious vision and a framework for delivery with which all other NI government policies and strategies must align.

“It provides us with an important opportunity to embed Green Growth principles into our decision-making.

“This will ensure that new policies and programmes align with the need to address climate change, develop green jobs and improve our environment.”

Mr Poots added: “There are numerous challenges ahead – addressing climate change, becoming carbon neutral, improving air quality, tackling plastic pollution, achieving zero waste, and the development of a circular economy.

“The next decade must be one of urgent action.

“This over-arching strategy sets out our commitments, our vision and our principles for a greener, more sustainable society and through investment, innovation, research and development and working together we can protect our future.

“Extensive engagement with organisations and individuals has taken place to prepare this draft Green Growth strategy, however we need to ensure our thinking is sound.

“I would therefore encourage everyone to have their say on this vital matter.”

First Minister Paul Givan said: “Green Growth means using the move from a high to a low greenhouse gas emissions society to improve people’s quality of life through green jobs and a clean, resilient environment.”

“That is exactly what we intend to do with the Green Growth strategy.

“It will equip us to tackle the climate crisis in the right way and help us meet our targets by feeding into the UK’s goal of achieving net zero by 2050.”

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “We are committed to making a difference and we need everyone to join us as we embrace this opportunity to do things differently across all sectors and as individuals.

“We cannot do this alone. Much of the success of the Green Growth strategy will depend on how well we work together.

“Through the Green Growth strategy, we have an opportunity to embed wider climate change, a green economy and environmental considerations, into all our decisions.

“We need to integrate decarbonising and environmental principles into all policy making.”