Green Party: Climate breakdown a ‘defining issue’

The breakdown of the climate is the defining issue of our time, the Green Party leader in Northern Ireland has said.

Clare Bailey said the threat would supersede the constitutional politics which dominates at present.

She addressed her party’s conference in Belfast on Saturday.

“A border down the Irish Sea or across the island of Ireland matters little in the face of climate breakdown.

“The effects of climate breakdown know no national boundaries and do not recognise lines drawn on a map.

“Many say they want a so-called new Ireland while others are concerned to maintain the United Kingdom at any cost.

“There is a new reality dawning for all of us – it’s called climate breakdown.”

The South Belfast Assembly member took over as leader from Steven Agnew in November.

She said: “I want those to promote the notion of a new Ireland to set out their position on mitigating climate change in this new dispensation, as well as protecting rights, providing health care and other public services and creating a fairer and more just society.

“I’d also ask the same questions of those who avow the protection of the Union, particularly in a post-Brexit Britain.”

She said Brexit and a lack of progress around equality matters were impacting on the lives of everyone across Northern Ireland, particularly those with little economic power and influence.