Page last updated at 14:26 GMT, Monday, 7 December 2009

Inquiry into climate change

The environment committee brought a motion on the report on the inquiry into climate change for debate in the assembly on 7 December 2009.

The report collates evidence from a range of stakeholders on the latest research on climate change, and identifies Northern Ireland's role and responsibilities in the context of carbon-reducing agreements.

The motion called on the assembly to approve the report and asked Environment Minister Edwin Poots to bring forward a timetable for implementing the recommendations contained in the report.

Committee chair Dolores Kelly said for Northern Ireland to do nothing on the issue would be catastrophic.

The DUP's Peter Weir said there was not a uniform view on climate change across the chamber and across Northern Ireland. However, he said instead of having measures imposed on it, Northern Ireland should take its own actions in order to make a response which was finely-tuned to address NI's needs.

The UUP's Roy Beggs said action should be taken to minimise the impact on future generations.

Alliance leader David Ford said targets had to be established to deal with the short and medium term, which were specific and sectoral.

The environment minister said the report was a constructive attempt to chart a path forward on the issue and noted its emphasis on an executive strategy and on what individual departments could do.

However, he said he would not give a full response to the report yet and he and his officials would be taking stock of the views of ministers and other government departments involved.

Deputy chair Cathal Boylan said it was clear from the debate that climate change was a hugely important issue for everyone in Northern Ireland.

The motion was passed.

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