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Climate change bill is tabled at Stormont


Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey

A bid to introduce climate change legislation in Northern Ireland commenced its journey at Stormont yesterday.

Green Party leader Clare Bailey tabled the Private Member's Bill that proposes a commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2045. The bill is supported by Sinn Fein, SDLP, UUP, Alliance, People Before Profit and a number of independent MLAs. The DUP has not signed up.

It was developed by the Climate Coalition NI, which is made up of scientists, academics, lawyers and environmental groups.

DUP Environment Minister Edwin Poots is developing his own climate change legislation.

Proposals put out for public consultation at the end of last year have less ambitious targets.

The first stage of the passage of Ms Bailey's bill was procedural and did not involve a debate on the proposed legislation. That will happen at its second stage.

If it is backed by a majority of MLAs at that stage it will be referred to an Assembly committee for scrutiny.

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Ms Bailey said: "Climate breakdown is the defining issue of our time and something that successive Northern Ireland governments and administrations have failed to get to grips with.

"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."

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