COP26: Climate Emergency

Part of Members' Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 12:15 pm on 1st November 2021.

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Photo of John Blair John Blair Alliance 12:15 pm, 1st November 2021

I am also grateful for the opportunity to make a statement at the commencement of COP26 in Glasgow. The climate crisis is no longer a looming threat; it is here and it is happening now. Further delay to action would be deadly. Government action towards rapid and drastic reductions in greenhouse gases to prevent climate breakdown has never been more crucial. Northern Ireland needs to play its part in addressing the global challenges. We must act, not because it is convenient or just because it is the right thing to do, but because it is our only option. We urgently need radical changes to the structure of our economy, based on long-term security and shared prosperity. Failure to take the required action immediately would be unforgivable. Members of the House, including me, some of my Alliance colleagues and others from Northern Ireland, are attending or preparing to attend COP26. We must ensure that, when we return, we work at pace throughout the remainder of the mandate and in the time ahead to deliver action on the climate emergency. Doing that will also assist with nature's recovery and habitat protection. As well as asking others to act, we must act.

Today, as world leaders gather and begin negotiations at COP26, it is important that we remember that the solutions for the climate crisis are in front of us and that the answer is clear. The answer is a green new deal. Through a green new deal, we can address the climate crisis, create tens of thousands of new green jobs and build a fairer society at the same time. We need a green new deal, we need joined-up action to deliver it, and we need those now.