Irwin calls for politicians to listen to the industry on climate change

Newry & Armagh DUP Assemblyman William Irwin MLA has said that the input of industry experts from the Northern Ireland Meat Exporters Association and the Chief Executive of the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland on the Climate Change Private Member’s Bill, leaves no doubt as to the negative industry impacts such a proposal would bring.

Saturday, 26th June 2021, 12:16 pm

Mr Irwin was speaking after Thursday’s DAERA committee meeting where another oral evidence session was held as part of the scrutiny of the Bill.

Mr Irwin said: “The involvement of agri-food industry experts is so vital in this debate and where we have a Bill before us which has united the agri-food industry leaders and representative bodies against it, I feel the input from stakeholders such as the Chief Executive of the Dairy Council Mike Johnston and Conall Donnelly the Executive Director of the Northern Ireland Meat Exporters Association, plays an important role in informing MLA’s as to the reality of the Climate Change PMB. The input of these leading industry representatives at the committee meeting was very sobering and left members in no doubt as to the serious ramifications the policy proposal of net zero by 2045 would mean for NI.

“So far in the pursuit of this Private Members Bill there has been a reluctance to face up to the realities of what this Bill would mean and this has not been assisted by a lack of a public consultation and lack of impact assessment on the extent of the job losses and the obvious economic impact. That is not good grounds for progress and as we are seeing with the very real accounts from industry representatives, our agri-food industry deserves so much better from those parties who seem so intent on pushing through bad legislation.”