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Barriers in NI

Barriers in NI 10 January 2022

Climate crisis: Car and home energy use seen as biggest barriers to being greener in Northern Ireland

By Shauna Corr

Northern Ireland folks see car use and home energy consumption as the biggest hurdles to being greener, according to a new survey.

The annual Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Environmental Engagement Index aims to track changing attitudes to the environment in the region.

Its 2021 results found that almost half (44%) those who took part want the government to prioritise climate change with pollution ranked the second most important environmental issue (17%).

Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful Chief Executive, Dr Ian Humphreys said: “In the wake of COP26, climate change is an extremely important topic and there has never been a more pressing time to explore and understand public engagement with environmental issues.

“It is critical we hear the views of the public in Northern Ireland to find out how relevant environmental issues are to their lives.

“We want everyone to have the chance to be part of the future.”

The survey also found inconvenience is considered a barrier to adopting more environmentally friendly habits by 18% of respondents but that the number who find cost the main barrier was down 7% on 2020.

It is hoped the survey, developed in collaboration between Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Queens University and the Agri–Food and Biosciences Institute, will inform public policy as more take part.

Environment, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Minister, Edwin Poots, said; “I’m delighted to see the number of people in Northern Ireland who see climate change as a priority has increased in the last year, but we can still do more.

“I have prioritised climate change by committing resources to bring forward an evidence based and science–led Executive Climate Change Bill.

Read the full story on Belfast Live here.