Alliance Environment spokesperson John Blair MLA has said Northern Ireland remains the “exception to ambition” when it comes to net-zero climate legislation.
The South Antrim MLA was speaking following the final stage of the Climate Change Bill in the Assembly. Mr Blair said while he was pleased Northern Ireland was no longer the only European region without legislation on climate action, he disappointed the targets had not been more ambitious.
“I am disappointed the Assembly backtracked on its decision to deliver net-zero climate legislation, and instead voted to separate methane emissions, largely associated with the agricultural sector, from the overall target of the Bill,” he said.
“In protecting one strand of one industry, we stand to lose enormous economic and social opportunities and confine Northern Ireland to the carbon outlier of Europe.
“The debate of delivering climate change legislation should never have been the agriculture sector versus the environmental sector. Instead, the debate should have been about every person, every sector, every government playing their part in mitigating the impacts of climate legislation.
“We should not have limited our ambition for climate action.”