Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader Colum Eastwood MP, who has launched a radical new private members bill to tackle the climate crisis, has hit out at DUP Leader Jeffery Donaldson over his threat to devolution, claiming efforts to tackle the climate crisis could falter if Stormont falls.
The Foyle MP will attend a protest this afternoon at Stormont calling for a Net-Zero Climate Act.
Mr Eastwood said:
“We are facing immense challenges on every front. Managing the Covid-19 pandemic, addressing the hospital waiting list crisis, mitigating unemployment following the withdrawal of the furlough scheme and playing our part in tackling the climate crisis - the defining challenge of our generation. With all of that facing us, local politicians need to get on with delivering solutions, there is no time to waste on selfish and self-indulgent threats to the stability of government. People are sick of it.
“It is inconceivable that, faced with a crisis that will redefine our planet, the DUP is choosing party politics while it holds the Ministerial portfolio that can make the most direct impact on climate policy.
“Without Stormont, the crucial legislation which the SDLP is co-sponsoring to tackle the climate crisis could fall and our efforts to mitigate the crisis will falter. We could also see voices from here silenced at the global climate change conference COP26 in October. At a time when the SDLP is pressing for the Executive to step up with its own climate summit, others are intent on obstructing the action needed to protect our people and planet. They need to wise up, before it’s too late.
“Whatever Jeffrey Donaldson does next, SDLP will keep pushing for change. The legislation I have tabled at Westminster is an overarching attempt to tackle the climate crisis. I am setting out a radical plan with robust targets to ensure that we are all doing what is required immediately to save our planet. With the crisis deepening, environmentally and politically, it is now critical that efforts to get legislation passed are stepped up. This could be our last chance.”