Page last updated at 15:16 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 16:16 UK

New environment boss 'sceptical'

Sammy Wilson
Sammy Wilson is Northern Ireland's new environment minister

Northern Ireland's new environment minister has said he is sceptical that all climate change is caused by CO2 emissions.

Sammy Wilson was speaking after being brought into the Executive in a DUP ministerial reshuffle.

"I am not convinced and I don't think that there is any firm evidence to show that all of that climate change is due to CO2 emmissions," Mr Wilson said.

Some environmental groups have criticised Mr Wilson's appointment.

However, Mr Wilson said he would do a good job.

"As minister for the environment I've got a duty to ensure that there's a good balance set between the need to develop our economy, to provide homes, factories, roads etc and at the same time to protect the environment.

"I think we have to make sure we do not allow the agenda for NI to be dominated by the people who can sometimes be described as green fanatics," he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Wilson is to be replaced as chair of the assembly's education committee by North Antrim DUP assembly member Mervyn Storey.

Upper Bann assembly member David Simpson takes over as chair of the social development committee, following Gregory Campbell's promotion to minister of culture, arts and leisure.

Mr Simpson is leaving the Policing Board where his place will be taken by Jimmy Spratt, a former chairman of the Police Federation.

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