A Climate Change Bill has had its first reading at the Northern Irish Assembly.
The Bill, championed by Green Party NI Leader, Clare Bailey, is supported by all but one of the five parties (the Democratic Unionist Party) that makes up the Executive. It is also supported by the People Before Profit Party’s singular Member of the Legislative Assembly, and the singular independent.
Ms Bailey (pictured) said: “Today’s first stage reading is an important step in creating the framework for the just transition to a low carbon economy which leaves no citizen behind… the Bill contains targets around achieving net zero carbon by 2045, enabling Northern Ireland to become climate resilient and to achieve an environmentally sustainable economy… the Bill is ambitious, but ambition is necessary if we are to move beyond the point of irreversible climate breakdown and species decline.”
The Bill has been drafted by Climate Coalition NI, a group of legal professionals, scientists, academics and environmental organisations. Head of Policy and Advocacy at RSPB NI, John Martin said the Bill “should underpin our efforts to act with urgency to address the nature and climate emergency and pave the way to deliver a long-term green recovery in Northern Ireland”. While it has been twelve years since the UK Parliament passed the Climate Change Act, this bill would provide a more localised plan for Northern Ireland.
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‘Ground-breaking’ Climate Change Bill receives first reading, ITV News, 2021-03-22