Dr Thomas L Muinzer, Co-Director of the Aberdeen University Centre for Energy Law, provided oral evidence to the Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly last Thursday (September 23) of September.
His oral evidence was accompanied by a written policy submission, pertaining to the Climate Change Bill that is currently going through parliament. The Bill was introduced by Claire Bailey MLA, Leader of the Green Party, in March 2021
The Bill proposes to establish a sophisticated climate governance regime for Northern Ireland, including a Net Zero emissions reduction target for 2045, to be driven by Climate Action Plans designed to secure the reduction over time. It also proposes to establish a Northern Ireland Climate Commissioner and Northern Ireland Climate Office.
Dr Muinzer spoke supportively of the Bill, emphasising that the ‘introduction of the Climate Change Bill by Clare Bailey MLA in March of this year was extremely welcome, and it should be recognised as a very substantial achievement.’
He added: “In principle, if a Net Zero 2045 target is employed, as set out in this Bill, this enables Northern Ireland to make a UK - and indeed world-leading - contribution to GHG emissions reduction, where it is on a par with Scotland’s pioneering 2045 Net Zero target. The UK’s national administration would be required to work carefully with Northern Ireland to help support this ambitious but worthy agenda.”