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Environmentalists welcomed DUP support for the UK Climate Change Bill [1] as Environment Minister, Sammy Wilson MP MLA, was officially isolated by party colleagues over his sceptical views on climate change.

In last night's (28 October 2008) House of Commons debate on the Climate Change Bill, Willie McCrea MP said that he and his party colleagues accepted that climate change was happening and that action needed to be taken. In an obvious reference to Sammy Wilson, Mr McCrea acknowledged that he had a colleague seated beside him with climate-sceptical views but that party policy was to support the Bill [2].

John Woods, Northern Ireland Director of Friends of the Earth, commented: "It was good to hear strong DUP support for the Bill, a position they have in common with all the parties in the Assembly. That Sammy Wilson had to be given special dispensation for his maverick views would be amusing if it were not for the fact that he is our Environment Minister and responsible for policy on climate change."

Responding to an intervention in the debate by Mr Wilson, Rob Marris MP said, "I am saddened that the Minister for the Environment of the Northern Ireland Assembly should be 35 years behind me in his thinking."

John Woods continued, "Sammy Wilson has become an embarrassment to the people of Northern Ireland and should either fall into line with the Assembly's support for action to cut greenhouse gas emissions or return to the back benches." [3]


[1] The report stage of the Climate Change Bill taking place at Westminster on Tuesday 28 October 2008.

[2] Speech by Willie McCrea MP in House of Commons.

[3] The Assembly agreed that the Climate Change Bill would apply to Northern Ireland in November 2007.

For further information, please contact Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland on 028 9023 3488.


Published by Friends of the Earth Trust