Infrastructure Minister Mallon hosts NI Roundtable as part of United Nations Climate Change Conference and calls for more ambitious targets to tackle the climate emergency

Date published: 28 July 2020


Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon MLA has hosted a virtual stakeholder NI roundtable on climate change and has called on everyone to become a green champion.

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The event is one of a series of sector specific roundtables across these islands with local stakeholders as part of the United Nations Climate Change Conference. COP26 Champion Nigel Topping joined with Minister Mallon to promote the ‘Race to Zero’ campaign and the COP26 UN Climate Conference. Today’s theme is transport.

Opening the event, Minister Mallon said: 

“Since taking up my role as Infrastructure Minister, I have made addressing climate change one of my key priorities. The impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic have introduced additional challenges, for example, in how we balance the promotion of sustainable modes of transport whilst ensuring the health and wellbeing of our people. But it has also presented opportunities as demonstrated for example, by the work my Department has been doing to accelerate actions that promote active travel as a safe and ‘carbon free’ alternative form of transport.

I hope that all of us reflect on ways in which the changes that have been imposed upon us can be positive, deliberate decisions that shape our future and make our country greener and fairer.  But this is not a goal that any government can achieve on its own. We all need to share ideas on innovative solutions that can help to achieve net zero emissions across our society. This is work that is best completed together building on the relationships that were strengthened by our collective response to the Coronavirus pandemic.”

Reflecting on actions that she has taken as a matter to address climate change, Nichola said:

“I’ve switched to the e-car – something I will be urging others to do at the earliest opportunity and to use public transport where possible. This is about leadership from politics to the community, we all need to be green champions.

Concluding, the Minister said: 

“The need to act now has been recognised in the New Decade, New Approach deal and we all have a commitment to act. I would like to see targets focused on delivery by 2030 – these ambitious targets have already been set by the EU and I want to work collectively to see the Executive move faster.

The Race to Zero campaign gives us an opportunity to focus on what we can do together and to build on our relationships with companies across these islands and further afield as we work towards the same ultimate goal of net zero. We must realise our opportunity to move faster and to really push the boundaries for change.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at: Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  2. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInstructure

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