Concern at lack of green economy voice on NI Economic Advisory Group

RSPB green SM Farm

Environmental charities have welcomed the Economy Minister’s commitment to build an “inclusive and green economy”

but question the fact there are no representat-ives with expertise in green economics on the new Economic Advisory Group announced by the Minister for the Economy.

RSPB NI Director Joanne Sherwood said: “We welcome the fact that the Minister for the Economy has said that we need to build an inclusive and green economy in Northern Ireland over the next 12-18 months.

“Therefore, it is striking that none of the 11 members of the new Economic Advisory Group have a track record in natural capital or green economic growth.

“It would be remiss to move forward without this expertise on the Economic Advisory Group and we would urge the Minister to give serious consideration to co-opting an expert in natural capital and green economics onto the group to fill this gap.

“The Assembly recently passed a motion in support of a fair and green recovery strategy and we acknowledge that there is increased recognition that more needs to be done to rebuild the economy in a sustainable way.

“However, these will be seen as only empty words unless the Executive and Ministers follow with actions. We cannot afford to go back to ‘business as usual’.”

National Trust NI Director Heather McLachlan commented: “The Covid-19 crisis has had a devastating effect on the economy in Northern Ireland and we welcome the steps the department has taken so far to support economic recovery.

“However, across all sectors we need a recovery that tackles climate change and benefits nature for the health and wellbeing of society.”

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