COP26: Climate change is the ‘defining crisis of our time’ - Poots

Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Edwin Poots, is attending the COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

DAERA minister, Edwin Poots.
DAERA minister, Edwin Poots.
DAERA minister, Edwin Poots.

Ahead of his attendance, Mr Poots said: “Joining forces to tackle climate change, creating green jobs and nurturing opportunities through investment and innovation, must be our focus over the next decade.”

The DAERA minister described climate change as the “defining crisis of our time on a global scale”.

“It must be recognised that we cannot continue with a ‘business as usual’ approach, we must act now before it is too late,” he continued.

“We have all seen first-hand the effects of climate change and there are other numerous challenges ahead - reducing our emissions, 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, there is still time to make a difference, but we must act now and we must do it together.”

Mr Poots believes it is “more important than ever” that the UK leads by example in its actions to address climate change in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, as it hosts COP26.

He added: “This leadership must be shown at all levels, including by devolved administrations, local government, and across all sectors, businesses and industry.

“Last week, on behalf of the NI Executive, I launched an eight-week consultation on the draft Green Growth Strategy for Northern Ireland.

“This over-arching multi-decade strategy will set out the long-term vision and a solid framework for tackling the climate crisis by balancing climate action with the need for a clean, resilient environment and economy.

“I look forward to being able to promote this important strategy and the work already underway in Northern Ireland to tackle climate change on the global stage at COP26.

“COP26 will be a key moment for all governments over the next fortnight and I will show that I am completely committed to tackling these issues head on.

“Northern Ireland is already leading the way in tackling climate change in a number of areas.

“I look forward to engaging with local businesses at COP26 including Artemis, South West Regional College and Wrightbus; who will all have the opportunity to represent NI and showcase the world-leading work we are doing on the global stage in Glasgow.

“I am also looking forward to engaging with international members of the Under2 Coalition which Northern Ireland was approved for membership of earlier this year”.

Mr Poots concluded: “We must all play our part and work together to tackle climate change before it is too late.

“This decade must be one of urgent action - we must create green jobs, end our reliance on fossil fuels and provide opportunities through investment in innovation to help us develop new ways of working.

“Collectively we can lay the foundations for a more sustainable society, which can rejuvenate our economy following the Covid-19 crisis, before irreparable damage is done.”