Page last updated at 12:02 GMT, Monday, 20 April 2009 13:02 UK

Wilson not exercised by footprint

Sammy Wilson blocked a government campaign on climate change
Sammy Wilson entered colleagues' mileage claims on a website

Northern Ireland Environment Minister Sammy Wilson has admitted he has not calculated his carbon footprint.

Last month, Mr Wilson worked out the environmental impact of some assembly colleagues as he defended his decision to scrap energy efficiency adverts.

Mr Wilson, who does not believe climate change is man-made, said: "I have not studied my carbon footprint because I am not exercised about it."

He had been asked by Sinn Féin's Daithi McKay to give details of his research.

Mr Wilson said he had gathered information about his colleagues on the environment committee.

"Mileage claims submitted by MLAs are published on the Assembly website," he said.

"I then accessed which allowed me to calculate the carbon footprint for the number of miles claimed."

Mr Wilson made the checks after Ulster Unionist MLA David McClarty tabled an Assembly motion to note concern about his "ludicrous" decision to drop an advertising campaign urging people to cut energy consumption and reduce their carbon emissions.

The environment minister had suggested that before lecturing him, other assembly members should look at their own contributions to climate change.

He cited the number and type of vehicles in the Stormont car park.

"I counted them this morning when I came in, and one of them is my own, there were 10 4X4s, 2.5 litre-plus vehicles, out in that car park," he told the Assembly.

"Most of the vehicles are over two litres, and probably belong to members who are sitting around these benches."

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