Friday, 23 July 2010

Going green...we don’t think so!

SEEMINGLY a long time ago, when he was Environment Minister, Sammy Wilson had a wee hissy fit about whether human actions could affect climate change.

Now, it seems that the watchdog that was intended to make sure the Northern Ireland Executive kept to its sustainability targets is to be wound up.

UK-wide cuts mean that the Sustainable Development Commission may close its doors soon. The Northern Ireland branch is part-funded by the UK Government and part funded by the Office of First Minister and deputy First Minister.

The only lifeline for the commission appears to be if the Northern Ireland side of the funding equation increases its investment. Given that Minister Wilson now holds the purse strings that might be a difficult sell.

While the Executive ponders this potential cut, it is worth looking at what happens if the Commission is wound up. Then the only body keeping track of whether we are keeping our environmental and sustainable promises will be in Europe. And errr… they tend to impose fines when we don’t.

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