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Thursday, 10 June 2021

Muir speaks in support of Climate Change Bill

North Down Alliance MLA Andrew Muir has spoken in the Assembly in support of the Climate Change Bill presented by all parties other than the DUP. 

 Photo of Andrew Muir MLA during debate on 10 May 2021

Commenting on the issue, Andrew Muir MLA stated “This bill is long overdue. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK that does not have its own Xlimate Change Act. This has consequences.  In the decade from 2008, when Westminster passed the Climate Chance Act, emissions in the rest of the UK have fallen by more than 20%.  In Northern Ireland they have fallen by less than 10%. 

I am therefore glad to see the Bill presented and able now to pass to further stages for scrutinity, refinement and finalisation. Whilst I welcome the fact it was passed to progress to the next stage by a margin of 58 to 29 it’s disappointing the Ulster Unionist Party are now split and no longer fully backing the bill with two MLAs voting to stop the Bill.” 

Speaking on issues related to the Bill, Andrew Muir MLA stated the following in the Assembly Chamber “In the past decade, we have improved our public transport network immeasurably and delivered better-quality services and customer experiences, but there is still not enough progress in generating a modal shift from cars to Active Travel and Public Transport. Last year, the Minister for Infrastructure, with the best of intentions, no doubt, pledged to seize the opportunity for a green recovery from COVID-19, yet, more than a year later, we find ourselves deeply frustrated at the pace of change. 

Active Travel made up 2.5% of the Department for Infrastructure's Capital Budget for last year. For every one person who works in DFI's Transport policy division, which includes Active Travel, more than 40 work in DFI Roads. The actions required include the rapid roll-out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, the current set-up is a shambles, and the Department for Infrastructure's budget needs to be rebalanced to fund Active Travel properly and to review Concessionary Fares in order to get more young people using our rapidly decarbonised public transport network. Last month, the Alliance Party published its Green New Deal. It sets out many other measures that we need to take to meet the requirements in the Bill.”