RSPB Northern Ireland has welcomed the introduction of a Climate Change Bill at the Northern Ireland Assembly.
John Martin, RSPB NI Head of Policy and Advocacy commented: “The importance of this landmark legislation cannot be overstated - it should underpin our efforts to act with urgency to address the nature and climate emergency and pave the way to deliver a long-term green recovery in Northern Ireland.
It is over 10 years since the UK Climate Change Act was passed in which time Northern Ireland has failed to introduce vital climate legislation. RPSB NI welcomes the introduction of this Private Members Bill and looks forward to working with members of the NI Assembly to ensure it sets ambitious Net Zero targets in harmony with nature, and drives radical action to reduce emissions across key sectors including agriculture, transport and energy.”
RSPB NI has been a key driver of the Bill alongside other eNGOs in the NI Climate Coalition. We have presented evidence that shows how the restoration and protection of natural carbon sinks, including peatlands and sea grass, can contribute to climate action and this Bill should recognise the vital role of nature in enabling Northern Ireland to become climate-safe and resilient.
The leading conservation charity highlighted that this is not just a pivotal year for climate and nature in Northern Ireland, but globally as the UK plays host to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this coming November, proceeding the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (CBD COP15) earlier in the year. This crucial legislation gives the Executive an opportunity to deliver against its New Decade New Approach commitments and demonstrate that Northern Ireland can be bold and ambitious in setting climate targets.
John Martin continued, “We would like to thank MLAs from across the parties for supporting this Bill. We will continue to engage with the NI Assembly to contribute to the development of this landmark legislation that can create a safe and sustainable future for people and wildlife in Northern Ireland.”
As part of its Revive Our World campaign, RSPB NI is pushing for legally binding targets to restore nature by 2030 and a green recovery from Covid-19. The RSPB has been operating in Northern Ireland for 50 years to inspire a world richer in nature. With over 11,000 members, around 60 employees, 300 volunteers and 10 reserves, it is an important voice for the environment in Northern Ireland. For more information or to get involved, visit www.rspb.org.uk/ni.