Northern Ireland

Climate change policy

Northern Ireland’s target is to reduce emissions by 35% on 1990 levels by 2025.

In May 2010, the Northern Ireland Executive agreed to a proposal by the Minister of the Environment to establish a cross departmental working group on climate change. The Executive’s Greenhouse Gas Action Plan was agreed and published in February 2011, outlining how each department in the Executive will contribute towards meeting the 2025 emission reduction target.

The Executive’s group published its third progress report (pdf) on this action plan in May 2014.

Following advice from the Committee on the appropriateness of climate change legislation in Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister is taking forward proposals for a Northern Ireland Climate Change Act.

Emission levels in Northern Ireland

The latest available data show that emissions were 22.4 MtCO2e in 2013, 4% of the UK total. Overall, emissions have fallen 16% in Northern Ireland since 1990, compared to 30% across the UK as a whole.

Emissions remained largely unchanged in 2013.

Advice provided by the CCC

The CCC provided advice to Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister on the appropriateness of a climate change act for Northern Ireland. It considered the current emissions profile in Northern Ireland and recent trends, the existing legislative and policy framework and opportunities and challenges in reducing emissions. It concludes that legislation could be helpful in driving the emissions reductions in Northern Ireland.

The CCC also reports annually on progress in Northern Ireland in the June report to Parliament – the latest news and reports can be found below. Other material can be found in our publications section.

Latest news and publications for Northern Ireland

News & Blog posts

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CCC visits Northern Ireland

Our Chairman Lord Deben, Chief Executive Matthew Bell and I spent 2 days in Northern Ireland in March 2015 on invitation of the Environment Minister, Mark H. Durkan. In emission terms, Northern Ireland (NI) is the smallest of the devolved nations, accounting for only 3.6% of UK emissions. However, the province faces particular challenges in its efforts to reduce emissions. Agriculture accounts for 29% of emissions there, compared to 11% …

CCC advises Northern Ireland Executive to harness significant and low cost opportunities to reduce emissions – 2 November 2011

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) will today advise the Northern Ireland Environment Minister that legislated emission reduction targets could be helpful to harness the significant opportunities to reduce emissions in Northern Ireland. The Committee was asked by Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister to provide advice on whether it is appropriate for Northern Ireland to enact its own climate change legislation, including the introduction of legally binding emissions targets. The 2008 …

Publications

Progress Reprt 2016 cover snip for web

Meeting Carbon Budgets – 2016 Progress Report to Parliament

This is the Committee’s eighth annual report detailing the UK’s progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and meeting carbon budgets. The report shows that UK emissions have fallen rapidly in the power sector, but that progress has stalled in other sectors, such as heating in buildings, transport, industry and agriculture.

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The appropriateness of a Northern Ireland Climate Change Act – 2015 update

This report looks at ‘The appropriateness of a Northern Ireland Climate Change Act’ following a request to the Committee on Climate Change from the Northern Ireland Executive Minister. The report provides an update on an earlier paper on the same topic, produced by the Committee on Climate Change in 2011.

The appropriateness of a Northern Ireland Climate Change Act - Northern Ireland Report

The appropriateness of a Northern Ireland Climate Change Act – Northern Ireland Report

This report assesses the appropriateness of a legally-binding emission reduction targets for Northern Ireland. It considers the current emissions profile in Northern Ireland and recent trends, the existing legislative and policy framework and opportunities and challenges in reducing emissions. It concludes that legislation could be helpful in driving the emissions reductions in Northern Ireland. Full report Letter to Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister