The Executive is committed to tackling the climate emergency, building a cleaner environment and creating new green jobs, the First Minster Paul Givan and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill have said.
The ministers were speaking in advance of their attendance at today’s COP26 World Leaders Summit in Glasgow.
First Minister Paul Givan said: “The eyes of the world will be on Glasgow for the COP26 climate summit as international leaders set out how they will work together to protect our planet.
“The scale of the challenge is such that everyone across society has their part to play. Governments, businesses and individuals must all shoulder their responsibilities to create a cleaner environment and it is important that the voice of the Northern Ireland Executive is heard at the summit over the next fortnight.
“Just last week the Executive launched its draft Green Growth Strategy for Northern Ireland which sets out the long-term vision for tackling the climate crisis. Ministers have also been briefed by the UK’s leading climate change experts on how we can contribute to the UK’s net zero targets by 2050 by reducing our greenhouse gas emission.
“There is much to do if we are to deliver on our commitments to build a more sustainable society. The Green Growth strategy sets out how we can get there and we must grasp this last opportunity before it is too late.”
Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “None of us should be in any doubt that we are in the midst of a climate crisis. The time to act is now and to do nothing would be catastrophic and a dereliction of our responsibilities as political leaders.
“We have all witnessed the impact of climate change in our lives and if we are to make a difference, then we must all work together. The climate crisis is no respecter of different political views and the Executive stands ready to play its part in this global response.
“For us, that means taking action locally and our Green Growth strategy sets out a holistic approach to tackling the climate crisis. It provides an opportunity to embed environmental considerations into all our decision making.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all our lives and going back to how we used to do things is no longer an option. We have the chance to do things differently, to be more dynamic and innovative in building a greener economy and society for everyone.”