Northern Ireland news

Officials from Edwin Poots's department to be quizzed on 'climate crisis'

DUP minister Edwin Poots. Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

OFFICIALS from DUP minister Edwin Poots's department will today be quizzed on whether or not they accept there is a climate crisis.

The question will be tabled at a special meeting of Stormont's Committee for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

The meeting, which is set to happen a matter of days after the assembly's summer recess began, comes after Mr Poots claimed his officials do not believe the world is facing a 'climate emergency' or a 'climate crisis', and they "do not believe that is the appropriate language".

However, officials at the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera) have previously used the language which Mr Poots claimed they do not accept, The Irish News revealed last week.

In September last year, Daera published a public discussion document that cited international expertise on a "climate and environment emergency".

The Sinn Féin deputy chair of the Stormont scrutiny committee said it was important that Daera officials provide clarity on the department's views.

Philip McGuigan said the minister's recent remarks "shocked many".

“In the aftermath of Mr Poots’ comments I had called for officials from the department to come before the agriculture committee to clarify the department’s position as a matter of urgency," he said.

"It is important that the officials provide clarity to MLAs and the public on this vital issue – addressing the climate crisis won't wait."

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