The Upper Bann MLA was speaking after the UK Government moved to lift the moratorium on fracking in England.
He said, “This is a rogue and retrograde step by the Conservatives that will do nothing to address spiralling energy costs this winter. Lifting the fracking moratorium sits completely at odds with our climate targets, will harm our natural environment and threatens the long-term health and wellbeing of communities.
“A restored Assembly must take steps to introduce a comprehensive ban on current and future fossil fuel exploration and extraction in Northern Ireland, to include fracking. In the absence of action from the Department for the Economy, it would be my intention to develop a Private Members Bill in this area.
“If we are to insulate ourselves from repeated energy crises and associated geopolitical risks in the future, we must prioritise transition towards clean, green, renewable energy sources as a matter of urgency. The best means of achieving this transition and a more inclusive, fairer and sustainable economy is via a Green New Deal.”