T4. Ms Bradshaw asked the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with Whitehall about Northern Ireland’s role in meeting the objectives of the Paris agreement that will come into force in 2020, given the recent conclusion of Northern Ireland Environment Week. (AQT 269/16-21)
Thank you for your answer. You will be aware that all regional and subregional authorities are required, under the agreement, to scale up efforts to build resilience to the effects of climate change. Will you give me any indication of how you plan to meet those objectives?
I thank the Member for her question. Obviously, Northern Ireland is making good progress with regard to reducing its emissions. The latest greenhouse gas inventory, which was published in June 2016, shows a reduction of 17·4% from 1990 levels. We are also on target to meet the targets set by the previous Programme for Government, including a reduction of 35% on 1990 levels by 2025.
The Member will also be aware that I launched the implementation plan to reduce emissions in the agri-food industry last week, so we are working towards the implementation of that. There is also considerable work being done, particularly in the farming sector. She might be aware of the sustainable land use strategy, which is being developed by John Gilliland and an independent group, and I am looking forward to receiving that within the next month to six weeks.