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McKay says higher targets needed to reduce CO2 emissions‏

10 December, 2007

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA and Environment Spokesperson, Daithí McKay has welcomed the Environment Ministers commitment to ensure that CO2 emissions are reduced in the North.

Mr McKay was speaking after today's Assembly motion calling for the Assembly to endorse the principal of the extension of the provisions of the Climate Change Bill to the North of Ireland.

Mr McKay said:

'The Stern Report and the 4th report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have spelled out in the clearest terms possible the consequences that Climate Change is having already and the disastrous potential effects to come. The scientific community are united in their acknowledgement of the dire environmental and economic consequences we face, if Climate Change is not taken seriously.

'Whilst Sinn Féin believes that a target of reducing CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050 is a step in the right direction, we would support following the example set by the Scottish Government who set legally binding targets to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% on 1990 levels by 2050.

'Ireland has huge potential to generate electricity from wind and wave power, as well as biomass, and we should not be reluctant to set higher targets in a Climate Change Bill.

Mr McKay added:

'We also believe that all-Ireland legislation should be introduced to ensure consistency across this island. Carbon emissions, north and south for example, closely linked through the imminent single electricity and gas markets.

"Many areas in the world have already been affected by the effects of an increase in global average temperatures and the latest scientific evidence suggests that the next 5 years will be crucial in avoiding further irreversible damage.

"The provisions of this Climate Change Bill are a step in the right direction but we would like to see further changes being made to it and believe that a review early in the New Year will provide the opportunity to make these changes." ENDS

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