The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a Synthesis Report today that they say “is a survival guide for humanity”.
Aditi Mukherji, one of the 93 authors of this Synthesis Report, said: “Almost half of the world’s population lives in regions that are highly vulnerable to climate change. In the last decade, deaths from floods, droughts and storms were 15 times higher in highly vulnerable regions.”
In Northern Ireland it may seem like the impacts of climate change are far away and we don’t have to worry. This isn’t the case.
Last year we saw record summer temperatures with plants going into their autumnal leaf dropping due to draught. This was followed by a ‘spring’ in November as summer flowers began to bloom.
We are seeing a change in the products in our supermarkets because of growing pressures experienced across Europe.
The IPCC have made it very clear that urgent action is needed to avoid the planet warming by more than 1.5C and that any new fossil fuel developments will use up our remaining carbon budget.
Northern Ireland has some of the best wind in the world. Last year 51% of our electricity came from renewable sources, which saved us £500 on gas.
Unfortunately, what we don’t have is a planning system that is fit for purchase.
RenewableNI has consistently called for improvements in the planning system. Fees in Northern Ireland are already higher than in GB and RoI, yet we receive a poorer service.
Planning applications are taking far too long, putting the Climate Action target of 80% renewable electricity by 2030 at risk.
Clean, green, locally produced electric is a win win for Northern Ireland. By investing in the renewable electricity industry, we directly benefit the local economy as well as tackling the climate crisis.
More electricity from renewable sources will push down the prices the consumers here are paying. It means more jobs and greater energy security.
We have the potential to be global leaders. Our perfect conditions for wind turbines and solar panels, backed up by battery storage, means we could have a zero-carbon electricity system by 2035.
The industry can support the decarbonisation to the heat and transport system, actions IPCC today said are essential.
At RenewableNI are working together for a better world now and a future we can be proud of creating.
As the NI local elections approach, we are asking you to speak to the candidates on your doorstep about the importance of building our renewable electricity industry. For climate, for consumer and economy, we need to act now.