The best way to fight the climate crisis locally is to create an Executive Department for Energy and Climate Change, Alliance Upper Bann Assembly candidate Eóin Tennyson has said.
Councillor Tennyson said the move, one of Alliance’s priorities around the issue of climate change contained in the party’s upcoming Assembly election manifesto, would ensure the implementation of legislation on the issue in the future.
Other proposals from the party include creating 50,000 green new jobs by 2030, as laid out in Alliance’s Green New Deal, a strategy for clean and inclusive growth, an immediate ban on all current and future fossil fuel exploration including fracking, and improving the recently-passed Climate Change Act by increasing the strength and reach of the legislation.
“It was welcome to see climate change legislation finally be created in Northern Ireland,” said Councillor Tennyson.
“While the Climate Change Act is not as strong as hoped, it is a good start. Alliance will be seeking to strengthen and improve it in the next mandate. The best way to ensure its successful implementation is to have a dedicated Department focused on fighting the climate crisis, which could give leadership and restore public confidence in green energy initiatives, which has been knocked thanks to a lack of ambition and direction.
“The challenge facing us is immense. But a dedicated Department and Minister to champion climate issues at the Executive, to direct policy and implementation of energy generation and efficiency schemes, and to oversee our transition to a zero-carbon energy future would be a crucial part of tackling it.”