Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan has welcomed the news that permitted development rights for oil and gas exploration are to be removed but said that binding legislation is needed to avert a climate catastrophe.
The North Antrim MLA said:
“It is vital we move away from our dependence on fossil fuels and I welcome this decision from the Infrastructure Minister.
“This follows a consultation brought forward by my colleague, Chris Hazzard, during his tenure as Infrastructure Minister, but what we need to see now is further action from the current minster.
“The best way for the Assembly to encourage organisations and individuals is with unambiguous legislation and binding targets.
“To that end Sinn Féin is in the process of bringing a number of environmental bills to the Assembly, including one to bring in an outright ban on fracking.
“There is an onus on the Assembly to play its part in averting climate catastrophe by developing and promoting clean, renewable energy.”