Ahead of her attendance at COP26, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has held a roundtable Climate Summit meeting with local stakeholders to discuss the necessary actions needed to tackle the climate crisis in Northern Ireland.
Leaders from organisations such as the Belfast Climate Commission, Climate NI, Northern Ireland Local Government Association, Sustrans, and the Consumer Council as well as some of the young people they represent attended the virtual meeting which focused on the actions which need to be taken locally to mitigate against the worst impacts of climate change and to prevent further damage to our environment.
The Minister will be attending COP26 and is using this local Climate Summit to create this opportunity to understand from key partners and stakeholders what their key priorities are in this global emergency.
Speaking after the meeting, Nichola Mallon said: “Time is fast running out to address the climate crisis. We have all had enough of the talking, it is well beyond time for action. We need a local radical response through a climate action plan. I believe that this should be informed by an open discussion drawing on the experience and expertise of informed, local stakeholders who are critical partners in bringing about real and lasting change.
“I will be attending a number of events at COP26 which will give me a chance to raise our issues with global leaders and to learn from others on the global stage. I wanted to hear what key actions our stakeholders believe that we need to take locally and specifically, what the Department for Infrastructure should prioritise across our key areas of responsibility: planning, water and transport. A lot of work is already being done within my Department and by Translink and NI Water but more must be done across Northern Ireland by the public, private, community and voluntary sectors and by each of us, as individuals, to tackle this real and immediate climate crisis.
“I do not underestimate the importance of COP26 in ensuring we make a step change in how we work together to tackle the climate emergency. COP26 presents the world’s best and last chance to urgently work together to tackle the climate crisis.”