Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has called for the Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster to accept the reality that natural gas is not a sustainable energy source and to bring forward a statutory definition of sustainable energy that does not include any fossil fuels.
Mr Flanagan, who is Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Energy and the Deputy Chair of the Assembly’s Enterprise, Trade & Investment Committee, said:
“Arlene Foster’s definition of sustainable energy is not sustainable; nowhere else in the developed world would natural gas be defined as sustainable.
“In essence, sustainable means that something can be used, but remain at its current level; but as we all know, fossil fuels are a depleting resource and will run out if we continue to consume them at the current rate.
“New fossil fuel resources will not just form themselves in a decade or a generation. As most of us accept, it takes millions of years for fossil fuels to form.
“But for a party in which so many of its membership think that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, this nonsense probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
“There is no logic in determining natural gas to be a sustainable energy source, even if the Minister seems deluded into thinking that it is low in carbon intensity.
“The Minister needs to bring forward an agreed statutory definition of sustainable energy, one that does not include any fossil fuels.”