The Ulster Unionist Party Leader Doug Beattie MC MLA has written to Claire Bailey MLA and DAERA Minister Edwin Poots to suggest that they merge her Private Members Climate Change Bill and the DAERA Bill to create a combined ‘best of both worlds’ Bill.
Doug Beattie said:
“It is unacceptable that Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom without Climate Change legislation. We currently have two Bills passing through the Assembly and, mindful of the Speaker’s recent warning of a logjam of legislation needing passed before the end of the current Assembly’s mandate, I have written to Claire Bailey MLA and DAERA Minister Edwin Poots to suggest a merger of both Bills to create a ‘best of both worlds’ Bill.
“I have asked both Claire and Edwin if they would be agreeable to an approach to Lord Deben – Chair of the independent Climate Change Committee – asking him to chair a time limited working group on the issue. This working group would seek to combine the best aspects of both bills to create a single bill and ensure we have a climate bill that completes all stages and is passed into law before the current Assembly mandate ends.
“We are facing a Climate Emergency and the Ulster Unionist Party is determined that Northern Ireland should make its Fair Contribution to mitigating Climate Change. The next five years are the most important if the UK is to reach its Net Zero target by 2050 and a fit-for-purpose NI Climate Change Bill is an essential first step.”