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DUP Consultation Paper - Our Green and Pleasant Land: a response by Sustainable NI

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is preparing a new policy paper on the theme of the environment.  The scope of the paper will be comprehensive with the aim of a full policy statement relevant to the national Parliament, a restored Assembly and local Councils. 

Sustainable Northern Ireland welcomes many of the ideas and principles contained in this policy paper however the scope, detail and scale of ambition within the policy paper is lacking. A seismic shift in economic, social and environmental policy is required if Northern Ireland is going to transition onto a more sustainable path, as other countries have, in order to meet current UK, EU and UN environmental committments. This will incoude a major shift towards a zero-carbon circular economy - which will require new legislation, strategy, targets and funding in Northern Ireland; affecting all sectors from agriculure, to transport, from energy supply and distributon to food and manufaturing.  This transition will generate a wealth of economic opportunities for the region in the form of jobs and investment, whilst helping to ensure our environment and it's precious resources are preserved for future generations. As a signatory of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Sustainable NI would strongly urge the DUP to consider using the 17 SDGs as the basis for developing any new policies in this area. 

Unfortunately, to date NI has failed to embrace its Sustainable Development - in particular climate change - responsibilities. We suggest therefore that the DUP promotes and utilises the UN's SDG framework and it's 17 Goals in order to achieve true sustainable development in Northern Ireland and unlock all the benefits this approach has to offer.