The lack of a functioning Assembly and Executive is undermining Northern Ireland’s ability to tackle the climate emergency, Alliance MLA Eóin Tennyson has said.
The party’s Climate Change and Just Transition spokesperson said a range of actions required by the Climate Change Act are being delayed due to the DUP’s refusal to form a local administration.
“For too long, Northern Ireland has lagged behind on climate action. Last year, we finally secured our own Climate Change Act with ambitious legally-binding targets,” said the Upper Bann MLA.
“However, progress risks being stalled once again thanks to the DUP’s boycott of the Assembly and Executive. If we are serious about meeting the targets set out in the act, we need urgent, radical and decisive action from right across the Executive.
“Yet the Executive remains unable to endorse the draft Green Growth Strategy, or even appoint a Climate Commissioner, while Ministers do not have the powers or budget to instigate significant new policy to decarbonise our economy.
“To deal with the cost of living crisis, we need to tackle the climate emergency. Roll-out of domestic energy efficiency measures can radically reduce people’s household energy bills, while investment in clean, renewable energy can end our reliance on fossil fuels and our exposure to volatile global prices.
“We need an urgently restored Executive, with a Programme for Government aligned with our emissions targets, to deliver a Green New Deal focused on decarbonising our economy, creating sustainable jobs and promoting social justice.”