Climate Change: Draft Green Growth Strategy for Northern Ireland is out for public consultation

Minister Poots is pictured with Junior Minister Gary Middleton MLA and Dr Iain Percy OBE, CEO of Artemis Technologies.Minister Poots is pictured with Junior Minister Gary Middleton MLA and Dr Iain Percy OBE, CEO of Artemis Technologies.
Minister Poots is pictured with Junior Minister Gary Middleton MLA and Dr Iain Percy OBE, CEO of Artemis Technologies.
The draft Green Growth Strategy for Northern Ireland, which sets out the long-term vision and framework for tackling the climate crisis, is now out for public consultation.

Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Edwin Poots, launched the draft strategy yesterday on behalf of the Northern Ireland Executive.

Led by DAERA, the multi-decade strategy looks to tackle the climate crisis by balancing climate action with the need for a clean, resilient environment and economy.

It has been developed by all ministers and government departments working together, in collaboration with external stakeholders from local government, the private sector, voluntary and community sectors and others.

Mr Poots launched the eight-week consultation period during a visit to Artemis Technologies in Lisburn.

This company is pioneering, working to create high-speed zero emission vessels and propulsion systems, with the aim of leading on the decarbonisation of the marine industry.

The DAERA minister commented: “We are facing a climate emergency and need to act, and act quickly.

“The NI Executive’s Green Growth Strategy sets out an ambitious vision, and a framework for delivery with which all other Northern Ireland government policies and strategies must align.

“It provides us with an important opportunity to embed Green Growth principles into our decision making.

“This will ensure that new policies and programmes align with the need to address climate change, develop green jobs and improve our environment.”

The cross-cutting strategy will be delivered through a series of climate action plans, which will set out the actions to meet sector-specific greenhouse gas emission targets to deliver a cleaner environment rich in biodiversity; delivering a more efficient use of resources within a circular economy; and green jobs.

Mr Poots continued: “This strategy represents a significant step forward for Northern Ireland as we move from a high to a low emissions society and balance climate action with environmental and economic considerations.

“I believe that this Green Growth approach is right for Northern Ireland and this strategy outlines the level of our ambition, the aspirations we have for society here and the commitments we are making.

“There are numerous challenges ahead - addressing climate change, becoming carbon neutral, improving air quality, tackling plastic pollution, achieving zero waste, and the development of a circular economy.

“The next decade must be one of urgent action.

“This over-arching strategy sets out our commitments, our vision and our principles for a greener, more sustainable society and through investment, innovation, research and development and working together we can protect our future.”

He concluded: “Extensive engagement with organisations and individuals has taken place to prepare this draft Green Growth Strategy, however, we need to ensure our thinking is sound.

“I would, therefore, encourage everyone to have their say on this vital matter.”

First Minister Paul Givan MLA said: “Green Growth means using the move from a high to a low greenhouse gas emissions society to improve people’s quality of life through green jobs and a clean, resilient environment.

“That is exactly what we intend to do with the Green Growth Strategy.

“It will equip us to tackle the climate crisis in the right way and help us meet our targets by feeding into the UK’s goal of achieving net zero by 2050.

“The draft strategy contains a vision, a set of principles and, importantly, a series of firm commitments from us as Executive Ministers.

“On implementing these commitments and principles, we must also ensure that the transition to a more sustainable economy is fair and just for everyone.”

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA added: “The Green Growth Strategy is seeking to adopt a holistic approach to tackling the climate crisis in the right way by balancing climate action with the environment and the economy in a way that benefits all our people.

“We are committed to making a difference and we need everyone to join us as we embrace this opportunity to do things differently across all sectors and as individuals.

“We cannot do this alone.

“Much of the success of the Green Growth Strategy will depend on how well we work together. “Through the Green Growth Strategy, we have an opportunity to embed wider climate change, a green economy and environmental considerations, into all our decisions.

“We need to integrate decarbonising and environmental principles into all policy making.”

Dr, Iain Percy OBE, CEO of Artemis Technologies, said it was a pleasure to the host the ministers at the facility where they showcased their “innovative designs that are supporting the decarbonisation of maritime and contributing towards essential green growth”.

He stated: “The new solutions we’ll create here in Northern Ireland, including the world’s first commercially viable zero emissions fast ferry, and our transformative Artemis eFoilerTM electric propulsion system, will make this region a world leader in zero carbon technology.

“Green Growth has an exceptionally important role to play in aiding Northern Ireland’s post Covid recovery and achieving the UK-wide goal of net zero emissions.

“We’re proud of the pivotal part we are playing in facilitating the green revolution both on a local and global scale.”

The draft Green Growth Strategy is now out for public consultation and can be accessed on the DAERA website at www.daera-ni.gov.uk/consultations/consultation-draft-green-growth-strategy-northern-ireland

The consultation will close on 21 December.

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