British-Irish Council: Summit

Part of Ministerial Statements – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 10:45 am on 30th November 2021.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 10:45 am, 30th November 2021

There was considerable discussion on that subject. A lot of people look at climate change and see the actions that need to be taken as a threat. Many of us look at it as an opportunity. Our nation is not rich in coal, oil and gas — fossil fuels — so I am not too excited about not being able to utilise those fuels. We are rich in wind energy, and in tidal and wave energy, if that can be harnessed. We are also rich in animal nutrients, which can be converted into renewable energy. We have a whole series of opportunities that we need to grasp as we move away from fossil fuels. Any policy that is reliant on oil coming from the Middle East and gas coming from Russia for sustainable energy is flawed. Those places tend to be somewhat unstable at various times. Instability leads to instability in prices, which leads to significant hikes in prices, such as those that we are experiencing. Were we producing our own renewable energy, we would have price stability.

To have all our energy and most of our food produced here is something that many parts of the world would envy, if the other parties allowed us to produce our own food, that is, instead of having it and the associated carbon produced somewhere else, perhaps in the southern hemisphere.