RSPB NI launch 5 Point Green Recovery Plan for NI’s Economy and Environment

The RSPB NI have recently launched their 5 point Green Recovery Plan for a post-Covid 19 Northern Ireland.

The plan is designed to "boost Northern Ireland's short-term economic recovery (through job creation for example)" and "restore and maintain our natural environment."

The past ten months have been a difficult road for the people of Northern Ireland, the economy and the health services. RSPB NI have highlighted how the resulting crises produced by the pandemic should serve as a reminder of the extent to which our economy and the health of society are dependent on having a prosperous and healthy natural world. Thinking about the next steps required in order to create a positive path for Northern Ireland to be able to bounce back from the crises caused by the pandemic, there has never been a more important time to invest in the protection and restoration of the environment.

Five-point plan RSPB NI is proposing the following five-point plan to deliver a green recovery.

Commitment to a Green Recovery from the Northern Ireland Executive

By committing to the delivery of a Green Recovery plan for Northern Ireland, the Executive can help create the conditions that would enable Northern Ireland to progress towards a climate-safe, nature-rich fut

Introduce new legislation to tackle the climate and nature crises.

  • Introduce a Northern Ireland climate change act
  • Introduce a framework of legally binding nature restoration targets

The current government strategies do not go far enough in protecting the environment in Northern Ireland. New legislation and policies should be introduced to ensure there are legally binding targets in place that aim to protect and restore wildlife and wild-spaces as well as reducing carbon emissions in order to reach net zero by 2045.

Strategic policy to deliver a Green Recovery

It is vital that there is a joined-up approach to policy and legislation making to ensure that an effective green recovery is delivered. Departments working in a silo mentality may lead to some policies causing more harm to the environment therefore nature and climate action should be integrated into all policies and decision-making.

Deliver a green new deal

  • Provide funding for a Green Recovery
  • Establish a Green jobs scheme
  • Deliver large-scale nature conservation projects

There is a need for the transition from industries, like those built on fossil fuels, to more sustainable and environmentally friendly ones, while at the same time taking into consideration the welfare of those who work in those industries. Adequate funding and an appropriate training and job support scheme that is developed with the ethos of the Green recovery Plan could help to contribute to the recovery of Northern Ireland’s natural environment as well as the creation of a low-carbon economy.

Invest in nature to support healthier communities.

A recent RSPB NI poll demonstrated that one in three people stated that, after experiencing the first Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions, they valued having access to green spaces. The impact of access to green spaces can have a significant positive impact on peoples mental and physical wellbeing therefore increasing access to nature-rich green spaces in both urban and rural areas and providing space for nature to flourish should be made a priority.

“We can recover better and build the climate safe, nature-rich, healthy world that we all want and need.”

RSPB NI demonstrate that delivering on their recommended Five Point Plan for a Green Recovery will not only produce short term gains but create longer term benefits also. The recommendations within the plan could boost short-term economic recovery, for example through job creation, restore and maintain the natural environment both on land and at sea, help tackle climate change, and create the longer-term conditions needed to encourage greater prosperity and well-being in Northern Ireland.

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