Climate change reporting duties to come into force in Northern Ireland

Climate change reporting duties to come into force in Northern Ireland

Andrew Muir

New climate change reporting duties for Northern Ireland public bodies will come into operation in May 2024.

Regulations laid in line with the landmark Climate Change Act (Northern Ireland) 2022 will require the first reports to be submitted in October 2025.

In all, some 40 bodies including councils, health trusts, the police, and fire service, will be required to report on their carbon emissions, as well as their plans and progress in reducing these emissions.

The bodies will also report on what they plan to do about, and their progress in, tackling their risks and impacts from climate change.

Agriculture, environment and rural affairs minister Andrew Muir said: “These regulations are a positive milestone in delivering on our obligations in relation to the Act and reporting will give bodies an opportunity to show continued leadership on climate action within the public sector, providing positive examples and shared learning of what effective climate action can deliver.

“Many public bodies are already gathering some climate change data, but requirements to report under these regulations brings structure, transparency and comparability to that process and will allow sharing of experience and expertise across public bodies which is of benefit to all of us.”

The announcement follows Executive approval and an extended 13-week public consultation period.

Mr Muir said: “It is important that all public bodies take action to reduce emissions, recognise the impacts of climate change on their functions and have a clear plan in place to reduce these risks and manage impacts.

“These regulations will put in place a climate change reporting framework for the specified public bodies, which can enable them to take informed, and timely climate action.

“This will make those bodies more sustainable and will give them the opportunity to provide a positive example and exploit the opportunities that early and effective climate action can deliver.”

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