Belfast Telegraph

Environment minister rules out separate climate change laws

Stormont's environment minister has ruled out introducing Northern Ireland-specific legislation to tackle climate change.

Michelle McIlveen told the Assembly there is no need for a Climate Change Bill.

The Stormont Executive is the only administration in the UK and Ireland not to have produced its own laws to cut carbon.

DUP MLA Ms McIlveen said UK-wide Government legislation that set long-term targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions is delivering results.

She also noted progress in cutting carbon will be monitored under the Executive's proposed programme for government.

Specifically, she told MLAs that a "progress report" would be submitted by the administration's cross-departmental working group on climate change.

She said the annual report would "summarise progress made toward the reduction of greenhouse gas".

She added: "I am satisfied that progress has been made in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Northern Ireland.

"I am content with the plans currently in place or being developed that will reduce our emissions further and, in these circumstances, I currently see no need to introduce a Northern Ireland Climate Change Bill."

During Assembly question time, Ms McIlveen was asked by Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle whether she intends to bring forward a Bill.

Former environment minister Mark H Durkan previously branded a failure to enact climate change laws in Northern Ireland, due to a lack of political consensus, as an "embarrassment" to Stormont.

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