The over-arching multi-decade Strategy, which is led by his Department, will set out the long-term vision and a solid framework for tackling the climate crisis by balancing climate action with the need for a clean, resilient environment and economy. It has been developed by all ministers and government departments working together, in collaboration with external stakeholders from local government, the private sector, voluntary and community sectors and others.
Launching an eight week consultation period on the Strategy at Artemis Technologies in Lisburn, Minister Poots said, “We are facing a climate emergency and need to act, and act quickly. The NI Executive’s Green Growth Strategy sets out an ambitious vision, and a framework for delivery with which all other NI government policies and strategies must align. It provides us with an important opportunity to embed Green Growth principles into our decision making. This will ensure that new policies and programmes align with the need to address climate change, develop green jobs and improve our environment.”
The cross-cutting strategy will be delivered through a series of Climate Action Plans, which will set out the actions to meet sector-specific greenhouse gas emission targets to deliver a cleaner environment rich in biodiversity; delivering a more efficient use of resources within a circular economy; and green jobs.
The Minister continued: “This strategy represents a significant step forward for Northern Ireland as we move from a high to a low emissions society and balance climate action with environmental and economic considerations. I believe that this Green Growth approach is right for Northern Ireland and this strategy outlines the level of our ambition, the aspirations we have for society here and the commitments we are making.”
Concluding Minister Poots said: “There are numerous challenges ahead - addressing climate change, becoming carbon neutral, improving air quality, tackling plastic pollution, achieving zero waste, and the development of a circular economy. The next decade must be one of urgent action. This over-arching Strategy sets out our commitments, our vision and our principles for a greener, more sustainable society and through investment, innovation, research and development and working together we can protect our future. Extensive engagement with organisations and individuals has taken place to prepare this draft Green Growth Strategy, however, we need to ensure our thinking is sound. I would therefore encourage everyone to have their say on this vital matter.”
First Minister Paul Givan MLA said: “Green Growth means using the move from a high to a low greenhouse gas emissions society to improve people’s quality of life through green jobs and a clean, resilient environment. That is exactly what we intend to do with the Green Growth Strategy. It will equip us to tackle the climate crisis in the right way and help us meet our targets by feeding into the UK’s goal of achieving net zero by 2050.
“The draft strategy contains a vision, a set of principles and, importantly, a series of firm commitments from us as Executive Ministers. On implementing these commitments and principles, we must also ensure that the transition to a more sustainable economy is fair and just for everyone.”
Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA said: “The Green Growth Strategy is seeking to adopt a holistic approach to tackling the climate crisis in the right way by balancing climate action with the environment and the economy in a way that benefits all our people. We are committed to making a difference and we need everyone to join us as we embrace this opportunity to do things differently across all sectors and as individuals.
“We cannot do this alone. Much of the success of the Green Growth Strategy will depend on how well we work together. Through the Green Growth Strategy, we have an opportunity to embed wider climate change, a green economy and environmental considerations, into all our decisions. We need to integrate decarbonising and environmental principles into all policy making.”
CEO of Artemis Technologies, Dr Iain Percy OBE, said: “It was a pleasure to host the Minister(s) at our facility and to showcase our innovative designs that are supporting the decarbonisation of maritime and contributing towards essential green growth.
“The new solutions we’ll create here in Northern Ireland, including the world’s first commercially viable zero emissions fast ferry, and our transformative Artemis eFoilerTM electric propulsion system, will make this region a world leader in zero carbon technology.
“Green Growth has an exceptionally important role to play in aiding Northern Ireland’s post Covid recovery and achieving the UK wide goal of net zero emissions. We’re proud of the pivotal part we are playing in facilitating the green revolution both on a local and global scale.”