Environment Minister Mark H Durkan today issued a high level discussion document seeking views on his proposals for climate change legislation.
Speaking ahead of his attendance at the International Climate Change Conference in Paris, Minister Durkan said: “Climate change is one of the most serious threats we face, not just to the environment, but to our economic prosperity and global security. The overwhelming scientific consensus is that the impacts of climate change are accelerating, and they’re largely driven by greenhouse gas emissions as a result of human activity. If we are to combat the devastating environmental, health, economic and societal impact of climate change we all have a responsibility to act – globally, locally and as individuals.
“Given the right leadership and supported by the right legislation we can deliver change in a manner that will not just help address the environmental challenges, but also has the potential to bring about significant economic and societal benefit for all. Today I have issued a discussion document clearly setting out the rationale for legislation and I am asking the public and interested parties for their views. This will, I believe, help inform my Executive colleagues and assist the introduction of a Northern Ireland Climate Change Bill.”
The Minister added: “At the Climate Change Conference in Paris I will be making it clear to fellow Ministers and participants my view that we should be striving to secure an ambitious international agreement.
“I will also be making clear my intention to seek to ensure that the North of Ireland plays its full part in contributing to the agreed emission reduction targets. I will certainly be taking the opportunity while in Paris to also speak with devolved Ministerial colleagues and other European leaders to share learning and best practice about their experience of enacting climate change legislation.”