Archived press release
Campaigners for global action on climate change held a “Citizen’s Parliament” in the Long Gallery of Parliament Buildings yesterday (Tuesday 24 November 2015).
The event, entitled “The Departments of Climate Change,” was hosted by Steven Agnew MLA, and organised by Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland. It sought to prompt new thinking about climate change policy in Northern Ireland by challenging delegates to devise decarbonisation policies specific to each Stormont Executive department.
Delegates considered new policy in the fields of energy, agriculture, housing, transport, education, and major infrastructure as they developed headline recommendations for each of the ten devolved departments.
This event was timed to occur just before world leaders meet in Paris for the 21st UN Conference of Parties on Climate Change, where the hope is that a binding global deal can be agreed to take the necessary action to avoid runaway climate change.
Steven Agnew, Green Party MLA for North Down said:
"Climate change is something that affects us all, and Northern Ireland needs to play its part in mitigating the effects. While world leaders are due to come together in Paris to plan the next steps to tackle climate change. In the meantime Northern Ireland government is ending subsidies for wind energy, the cheapest, cleanest form of energy production, putting at risk 10,000 jobs.
"We need an Northern Ireland climate bill to ensure all government departments are work cooperatively to achieve a low carbon economy fit for the 21st century."
James Orr, Director of Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland said:
“Next week all eyes will be on Paris, and we hope that world leaders will display courage, ingenuity and generosity enough to secure a deal strong enough to avert climate catastrophe.
“We came here tonight to remind our local politicians that they have the power to lead Northern Ireland into doing its fair share of decarbonising the world economy, and providing jobs, warm homes, and real energy security in the process.
“What those who came here tonight displayed was the essence of the concept of thinking globally, acting locally. This was just the start of an ongoing conversation about how we tackle our own contribution to climate change, and it is one that is bound to continue well into the rest of this decade.”
The next climate related event will be the People’s Climate Rally, which will take place at 2pm on Sunday 29 November, in Writers’ Square, Donegall Street Belfast.