In October 2015 the Northern Ireland Executive Minister asked the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) to provide an update on a CCC report produced in 2011 on ‘The appropriateness of a Northern Ireland Climate Change Act’.
The intention is that this new report will be included in an evidence paper to be submitted in January 2016 on the case for bringing forward Northern Ireland climate change legislation in the next Assembly term.
To determine whether a Northern Ireland Climate Change Act would be appropriate, the Committee has considered where the pattern of emissions in Northern Ireland differs to that in the UK as a whole, as well as other areas such as fuel poverty and the individual circumstances of the Northern Ireland energy market. The Committee has also considered the administrative and associated costs of putting in place new legislation.
The Committee concludes that the range of circumstances that are unique to Northern Ireland suggest local legislation is appropriate. However, the benefits of specific legislation only outweigh the costs if it is possible to pass local legislation without adding undue additional costs on to the Northern Ireland Executive, ministries or the wider economy.