Northern Ireland is lagging behind in the United Kingdom’s efforts towards Net Zero – because of the ‘politics of politics’ from the Stormont parties getting in the way of a running executive for the good people of Northern Ireland.
That’s the opinion of Northern Ireland Conservatives, who say a green alternative to heavy reliance on fossil fuels is urgently needed.
Earlier this week, the Prime Minister announced his Conservative & Unionist Government would grant 100 new North Sea oil and gas licenses – as well as announcing Carbon Capture initiatives – as part plans to grow the economy, protect our energy supply and work towards Net Zero goals.
Claire Scull, of the Northern Ireland Conservatives, said “Of course, given the political chaos in Northern Ireland, we are once again missing from these announcements. In the absence of an Assembly, plans for Carbon Capture here remain on a page – and the Government is choosing to prioritise regions ready to play their part, in our Country’s story. Northern Ireland should be and can be part of this future and progress in reducing our reliance and protecting our planet.”
She added: “The national story is of greenhouse gas reduction is nearly 50% since 19902 , yet in Northern Ireland, that story is only 25% . The 70% of energy from Renewables by 2030 target the Northern Ireland Executive is actually going the wrong way, falling by nearly 10% since 2020. We can and must do better than this.”
“Since 1990, the UK has decarbonised at the fastest rate of any G7 Country nearly halving greenhouse gas emissions . We have grown our renewable capability and continue to pursue the use of nuclear to deliver clean energy to homes and businesses across the country. We’ve built the world’s largest Offshore Wind Farm. Tree planting continues to grow and our targets for 2030 and 2050 are impressive. We have much to be proud of in our efforts to deliver a greener future for our children.
“The Net Zero aim is just that, a ‘Net’ position. We are not aiming to deliver a ‘Carbon Zero’ future in the United Kingdom, because to do so would harm our communities, businesses and is unrealistic. We need to move forward carefully of course, and these licenses will help the United Kingdom do that.”
Miss Scull pointed out that in the Northern Ireland Executive’s Energy Strategy “path to net zero”3 as well as failing their own targets on the proportion of Renewables in our Energy make up, there are no references to nuclear energy. She said, “it would provide a local, green alternative to fossil fuels and is already recognised as a green energy by the European Union.”
She said “By increasing our Renewable generation, looking at cleaner, greener generation methods Northern Ireland should be generating more of our energy locally. This will help secure our energy supply and reduce our reliance on foreign governments. As we have seen unfortunately, in this past year or so, their actions can negatively impact on the cost of living in Northern Ireland. By creating more of our own Energy, we can also support the wider United Kingdom by reducing our reliance on inbound transfers of electricity and contribute to the larger demand in England and Wales. That’s good news for the whole country.
“Vision will see the potential for us but only Conservatives would turn potential into delivery.”