Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said that Agriculture Minister Edwin Poots’ plans to water down critical climate crisis legislation should be opposed by parties in Northern Ireland.
The Foyle MP said that the DUP Leader was fooling no one with claims that a cross-party bill threatens farming businesses while Brexiteers continue plans for a trade deal with Australia that would flood markets with cheap, low quality agriculture products.
Colum Eastwood MP said:
“It appears to me that Edwin Poots is a political leader who doesn’t believe in science. His previous comments on the ‘hysteria’ of the climate crisis clearly demonstrate that he just doesn’t get how serious this situation is. Look at the number and severity of local flooding events, look at the impact of wildfires in the Mournes. This is an emergency and it requires a whole-society approach.
“If the DUP was serious about protecting farming businesses, they should take a look at the consequences their Brexit is having on agriculture trade. The trade deal that their Brexiteer friends in Whitehall are about to agree with Australia will lead, in the medium term, to a flood of low price, low quality meat products that will fundamentally distort local markets. The only protection we have is the protocol which they want to shred. The crocodile tears over climate legislation aren’t fooling anyone.
“The climate crisis is the geopolitical challenge of this, and the next, generation. We have a part to play in reducing carbon emissions and halting the increase in global temperatures. But we have to choose change – that means mobilising the machinery of government across every aspect of our society to address the emergency. All parties need to get real about that.”