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Green New Deal could help us avoid repeating effects of pandemic, say Muir as Assembly motion passes

A Green New Deal for Northern Ireland could help our society avoid repeating the effects of the COVID crisis, Alliance MLA Andrew Muir has said.

The North Down MLA was speaking after the Assembly backed an Alliance motion calling for the Executive to introduce such a policy. It would tackle the climate emergency through transforming our economy and wider society. Alliance launched its own proposals last month, which would create 50,000 green jobs as well as bringing a range of changes addressing environmental, societal and economic changes.

“There are examples through history of societies emerging from times of crisis through bold initiatives to tackle the major issues of the day, such as the original New Deal after the Great Depression and the creation of the NHS after World War II,” said Mr Muir.

“Emerging from the COVID pandemic, we have an opportunity to tackle the climate emergency while creating new jobs and building a just and inclusive society. The situation demands a bold vision and strong leadership, which the Alliance Green New Deal provides. It is crucial the Executive grasps this chance for change and begins work on such a policy for Northern Ireland.

“Of course, the Executive cannot tackle the climate emergency alone but it does have it within its power to start. While everyday life has often felt at a standstill since the beginning of this crisis, the climate change has continued to accelerate. We cannot afford to wait any longer and a regionally balanced green new deal can go a long way to tackling it, benefiting all of us and future generations.”