Baglady Productions Northern Ireland team attended ‘Stop Climate Chaos’ [SCC] at Stormont on 8th May, calling for a legally binding NI Climate Change Act. The event received fantastic political support with 30+ MLA’s attending and either signing up on the day or wishing to become more informed about the subject.
The theme of the day was for constituents to gain support from their MLA’s to sign-up support for A Climate Change Act within the NI Assembly.
Like the other 50 constituents, Baglady’s Iris and Rachael had registered and followed the SCC request inviting their 6 MLA’s to attend.
We were grouped according to our constituency, Iris South Antrim and Rachael Strangford and joined the tables prepared to lobby and listen to the MLA’s throughout the afternoon.
Each table was shared with Lagan Valley and Strangford grouped under chair Jeremy from Oxfam Ireland.
The afternoon opened with a keynote welcome address from the sponsor, Anna Lo MLA, Chair of the Environment Committee, followed by introduction by Northern Ireland’s Chair of Stop Climate Chaos, Gary McFarlane.
With the tables full, discussion followed with points being raised at the Lagan Valley, Strangford table from MLA’s Steven Agnew, Paul Girvan, Kieran McCarthy, Basil McCrea and David McNarry as follows –
Why does NI need its own Climate Change Act?
– Concern was expressed about parties taking the lead with Climate Change due to there short term [3years] in government;
– NI energy sources were discussed: renewables wind and tidal; fossil fuels from gas fracking.
– How such an Act will effect and possibly restrict trade such as local businesses working under Climate Change legislation maintaining profit margins within world markets.
– Construction – Assembly finding budget to support required renovation or new build.
The constituents answered the MLA’s questions expressing personal and professional views:
– the need to have a long term view such as those taken in relation to the Health Service allowing budgets to be set supporting the required changes.
– At present the “NI Assembly sets legislation for energy, transport, agriculture, trade, investment, and construction, and therefore should have a legally binding NI Climate Change Act to guarantee all Executive departments met their requirements to lower carbon emissions.”
– the need for a long term view – ensuring the next generations’ sustainability.
– children and youth in education are fully aware of these issues and enter the present labour market with minimum support to explore and innovate sustainable solutions
Once questions had been answered and suggestions discussed it was clear that some MLA’s were prepared to support the Act and others were not!
Some politicians stated they had come to find out more and to try and understand the issues around Climate Change more clearly.
MLA’s Steven Agnew Greens, Kieran McCarthy Alliance, and Basil McCrea UUP from LaganValley / Strangford constituency, and MLA’s Roy Beggs UUP and Paul Girvan DUP from South Antrim/East Antrim constituency all signed the rugby balls joining Minister for the Environment Alex Attwood, and sponsorsing MLA’s Anna Lo, John Dallat and Peter Weir alongside many more in support of the Get in the Game campaign!
The campaign continues lobby your MLA’s by following link –