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5 May 2009


The Northern Ireland Assembly’s Committee for the Environment today launches an important inquiry into understanding the implications of climate change for Northern Ireland. The Committee will be taking evidence from more than 40 organisations and individuals in the coming weeks.

The Committee, which is responsible for scrutinising the Department of the Environment, will use the inquiry to inform its recommendations on government climate change policies and targets.

Committee Chairperson, Mr Patsy McGlone, MLA said: “The impacts of climate change are something that affects us all. We want to learn from a range of people across the spectrum, from individuals to business and industry, to ensure that as a Committee we are better informed to make our recommendations to the Department.

“It is important that we, as a Committee, have the most robust and most up-to-date information. We’ve already received more than 40 written submissions to the inquiry and over the coming weeks will be taking oral evidence from a large number of these key organisations.”

In the first oral evidence taking session this week, the Committee will hear from the UK Committee on Climate Change, which is the statutory body established under the UK Climate Change Act to advise government on responsibilities and targets. In addition, Members will hear from the Sustainable Development Commission, the Met Office and the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, as well as officials from the Department of the Environment.

During the inquiry, the Committee will also take oral evidence from representatives from business, industry, agriculture and environmental organisations to ensure that all views are taken into consideration.


Notes to editors
  1. The Environment Committee agreed, in October 2008, to hold an inquiry into climate change.
  2. The current position of the Committee was agreed in 2007 when it considered the Climate Change Bill. The Committee agreed that it supported the statutory UK carbon reduction targets. It also agreed that Northern Ireland specific targets should be set and called for the Committee on Climate Change to provide advice to Northern Ireland separately. The Committee also called for the Northern Ireland Executive to have a separate reporting line on Northern Ireland’s carbon performance.
  3. During the written consultation period of this inquiry (DATES), the Committee received submissions from 42 organisations, bodies and individuals, 23 of which have been invited to give further oral evidence.

Committee membership:
Patsy McGlone, Chairperson
Cathal Boylan, Deputy Chairperson
Roy Beggs
Trevor Clarke
David Ford
Tommy Gallagher
David McClarty
Ian McCrea
Daithí McKay
Alastair Ross
Peter Weir

Mrs Alexandra McGarel
Clerk to the Committee
Committee for the Environment,
Room 245,
Parliament Buildings,
Belfast BT4 3XX.
Telephone 028 90521347.
Fax 028 90521795

For media enquiries, please contact
Ms Debra Savage,
Northern Ireland Assembly, Press Office,
Telephone – 028 90 521405/521137
Mobile: 07920 864221
Email –