Monday 14 May 2012

Green MLA backs call for Climate Change Act for Northern Ireland

Steven Agnew MLA and Leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland is backing the call for a Climate Change Act for Northern Ireland.

Mr Agnew attended a Stop Climate Chaos event held in Stormont last week to discuss the need for a Climate Change Bill.

“I believe that there are strong moral, economic and social and environmental imperatives for Northern Ireland to cut its emissions in order to play its part in combatting climate change,” Mr Agnew said.

“It’s is not whether or when climate change will happen – it’s happening now.

“Hundreds of millions of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable are being put at risk of drought, flood, starvation and disease.

“In developing nations where people are heavily dependent on agriculture, climate change means they are not getting the necessary yields required to survive and flourish.

“This situation was highlighted to me by Christian Aid and Trocaire which are working in these countries and they have seen the impact of climate change first hand.

“But the predicted devastation is not limited to the developing world – key economic centres like London, New York and Tokyo are also threatened by rising sea levels.

“Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that does not have binding targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions yet our household emissions are 39% above the UK average.

“Tougher targets need to be set in Northern Ireland and we must recognise the role we have to play in tackling what represents a real threat to humanity.

“We have to make tackling climate change a key priority which needs to be taken into consideration when forming other environmental and economic legislation.

“Introducing Northern Ireland Climate Change Act with specific targets in within the next years would ensure that all Executive departments work towards reducing our carbon footprint over the next four decades.

“If we act now, we can help protect everyone’s future. That is why I am backing the call for a Northern Ireland Climate Change act with legally binding targets to reduce our emissions.”

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