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Climate Act for NI in 3 mths

Climate Act for NI in 3 mths 22 July 2020

Edwin Poots rejects timeframe to tackle climate change (via BBC News)

By Jayne McCormack

Introducing legislation at Stormont in the next three months to tackle climate change is an "impossible" timeframe, the environment minister has said.

Edwin Poots was speaking during a debate on the issue in the assembly on Tuesday.

A majority of MLAs backed the proposal, but it is not legally binding on the executive.

Mr Poots said he was committed to "actions not words", and described the motion as "ridiculous".

Pledges by the executive parties to address climate change were included in the power-sharing deal that restored Stormont in January of this year.

The following month, the assembly declared a climate emergency and backed the creation of an independent body to protect the environment.

The motion had been brought by Sinn Féin's Declan McAleer, who chairs the assembly's agriculture and environment committee.

He argued that Stormont needed to put climate change at the top of its agenda as Northern Ireland moved out of the Covid-19 lockdown.

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