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Committee calls for Evidence and Views on the Climate Change (No. 2) Bill

The Assembly’s Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (AERA) Committee is calling on local people and organisations across all relevant sectors to give their views on the new Climate Change (No.2) Bill that is currently before the Assembly.

The Climate Change (No.2) Bill was introduced by the Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in July 2021 and is expected to be referred to the Committee for scrutiny in September 2021.

The Committee recently undertook a ‘Call for Evidence and Views’ on a separate Climate Change Bill sponsored by Clare Bailey (MLA), which it is continuing to review.

Speaking after the launch of the ‘Call for Evidence and Views’ on the Climate Change (No.2) Bill, Committee Chairperson, Declan McAleer MLA yesterday said:

“While it is somewhat unusual for the Committee to be seeking views on two separate pieces of legislation within the same policy area, we have a responsibility to examine each Bill independently and to consider their specific merits and potential impacts in accordance with the legislative processes of the Assembly.”

Mr. McAleer continued:

“We all agree that addressing and tackling Climate Change locally remains our key concern and objective. It’s therefore essential that we carefully evaluate any and all proposed pathways towards mitigating the effects of Climate Change. It is also crucial that the relevant sectors of our economy and local people as a whole are provided with an opportunity to consider all of the different options available and to be able to give their views on a holistic basis.” 

Some of the provisions of the proposed Climate Change (No. 2) Bill include a target to reduce net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 82% by 2050 (compared to baseline levels). The Bill also proposes setting interim emissions targets for 2030 and 2040, and would give responsibility to the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to set Carbon Budgets here, outlining the maximum GHG emissions level on a 5-yearly basis.   

Mr. McAleer concluded:

“Ensuring that we have dedicated and viable Climate Change legislation in place as soon as possible remains our primary goal. We want to hear from as many people and organisations as possible so that we have a wide and diverse range of views to help inform our consideration of the proposals within this Bill.    

“Climate change affects all of us and we must seek to work together to build a considered, sustainable and collaborative approach towards tackling it now and in the future.”

The ‘Call for Evidence and Views’ can be accessed on the Assembly Committee webpage until Thursday, 30 September 2021. 

Notes to Editor:

Committee Membership:

Mr Declan McAleer MLA (Chairperson)

Mr Philip McGuigan MLA (Deputy Chairperson)

Ms Clare Bailey MLA

Mrs Rosemary Barton MLA

Mr John Blair MLA

Mr Maurice Bradley MLA

Mr Harry Harvey MLA

Mr William Irwin MLA

Mr Patsy McGlone MLA

For media enquiries, please contact:

Sinead Murphy

Deputy Communications Officer

Northern Ireland Assembly

Tel: 029 90 52 5938 Mob: 07899 864368



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