UTV’s current affairs programme to examine climate crisis

The next episode of UTV’s current affairs programme ‘Up Close’ takes an in-depth look at the climate crisis, and, as world leaders prepare for COP26 in Glasgow, UTV reporter Jordan Moates reports on the need for urgent action in Northern Ireland.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 11:00 am
UTV cameraman John Vennard filming for the Up Close Climate programme

Airing on Tuesday 19th October, the hour-long programme examines the impact and measures taken to combat climate change in Northern Ireland, from government to industry right down to individual families.

The programme hears from government bodies, wildlife charities, scientists, major industry sectors and individuals, who will paint a picture of past warnings ignored, the impact of that, as well as the strides that Northern Ireland has made in tackling the issues head on, and various sectors’ continued commitment to change things for the better. All this despite no climate change legislation from the Executive.

With agriculture being one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, the programme looks at the measures being taken in that particular sector.

Edwin Poots speaking with UTV's Jordan Moates

Jordan visits AFBI Research Farm (the Agrifood and Biosciences Institute) where he chats to Steven Morrison who highlights that farmers are concerned how they can reduce emissions all the while keeping farming sustainable. Steven demonstrates the much reduced grass growth this summer due to the hot weather, pointing out that farm managers now have to cope with this much reduced yield, compared to previous years.

‘Up Close’ also hears how AFBI has been examining methane production in cattle, and researching how different feeds and breeds combinations can be manipulated and managed to minimise their environmental impact. Steven also points out the positive contribution that farmers make to the whole ecosystem in Northern Ireland.

UFU president David Brown is also interviewed and points out that over 113,000 jobs are reliant on the agri-food sector, so processors and suppliers as well as farmers could be impacted by any far reaching legislation. He points out that any future climate legislation to reduce emissions needs to be properly targeted.

And he comments: “New sciences and technologies……have been part and parcel of the industry for generations.”

Environment Minister Edwin Poots

Environment Minister Edwin Poots, who has introduced one of two competing climate bills for Northern Ireland urges for action, not just words, in dealing with the crisis, calling for “proportionate targets that are achievable”, adding that “…the Executive needs to put big money to this.”

‘Up Close’ ALSO learnS of the innovative ways the National Trust is dealing with flood threats at Mount Stewart, and how NI Water is using mother nature to treat human sewerage in wetlands. Ulster Wildlife and the Woodland Trust talk about the positive carbon storing properties of both peatlands and trees, and the programme hears how Northern Ireland is one of the world leaders in renewable energy production.

Looking to the future, programme producer, Cara McGimpsey said: “‘Up Close: The Climate Emergency’ provides a comprehensive look at the damage that has been done and lays out where we need to go next. It also examines how efforts being made by various bodies in Northern Ireland are making a positive impact already.”

Dr Steven Morrison from AFBI's research farm with UTV's Jordan Moates
Filming at the base of a wind turbine