09/11/2011

Statutory Emission Targets 'Needed For NI'

The Stormont Environment Minister Alex Attwood has argued that Northern Ireland should have statutory emission reduction targets.

He said that, at present there are no specific targets for emissions in Northern Ireland under the 2008 UK Climate Change Act.

Setting emission reduction targets in Northern Ireland could be helpful to reduce emissions from agriculture, road transport, homes, public sector and power sectors, whilst driving economic efficiencies in each sector.

The Minister's comments follow a report he commissioned from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) which advised him that legislation could assist Northern Ireland in delivering emission reductions.

Mr Attwood said: "I welcome the Committee on Climate Change Report stating that legislative targets could assist Northern Ireland deliver more ambitious greenhouse gas emissions. I believe that the North of Ireland is well placed to push itself further to achieve higher levels of reduction in emissions.

"My view is that we should have statutory climate change targets and that the targets should be rigorous and challenging. I believe that this can contribute to our economic recovery by supporting the transformation to a low carbon green economy, encouraging innovation while at the same time providing greater certainty for business and thereby assisting with job creation.

"This is the way to go. This generation owes it to future generations to do so and ensure that the North of Ireland becomes a better place to live, work and invest."

(CD)

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