SINN Féin spokesperson on the Environment at Stormont Willie Clarke MLA has spoken of his commitment to implementing a Green Economy programme that would not only create jobs but could also provide the stimulus in ending fuel poverty.
Speaking prior to a Stormont motion on Green Economy, Mr Clarke said, “With more hikes recently in the price of oil and gas we must plan ahead for the future and a commitment to using renewable energy will not only make our environment a safer and cleaner place to live, but it is also becoming increasingly salient that we don’t saddle future generations with crippling levels of fuel poverty.
“A collective approach from all departments and indeed throughout the whole island is necessary – pollution pays no heed to lines drawn on a map – and alongside our colleagues in the south, we can help contribute to a hugely positive legacy for decades to come.
“Just one small part of this approach would be to ensure that all public buildings are powered by renewable energy. This would be a massive step in the right direction, and I have no doubt that it would be widely recognised as a pioneering move on our part.
“It is this type of foresight that we must illustrate on a regular basis if we are to be serious about conserving the world’s resources, and a pro-active process regarding the environment rather than reactionary moves in the wake of increased fines from Europe, is in my mind, the only sustainable path to take.
“I have no doubt that Education is also a fundamental element in moving forward, while there should also be incentives for those businesses and even homes that turn to using renewable energy. Implementing green policies should not be seen as a burden on the budget, but rather a forward looking way of actually cutting cost” he added.