Northern Ireland politicians have agreed to hold a Climate Summit ahead of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

The conference, called 'COP26' for short, will take place in Glasgow in October.

The proposal was brought to the Stormont Executive today (August 12) by SDLP deputy leader and Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon.

Mallon said she hoped the Climate Summit could be used to develop a climate action plan for politicians and policy-makers in the region.

She said: “The climate crisis needs our immediate attention and urgent intervention. We cannot sit back and allow this dangerous drift to continue.

A radical response is needed from all leaders across the globe to protect our planet and our people.

“This week, the United Nations published its IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report, in which stark findings concluded the climate crisis is 'code red' for humanity.

“While some work is being done, not enough is being done quickly enough. We need to act now.

"The SDLP isn’t sitting back, we are stepping up. SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood has a bill before Westminster pressing for radical action and robust targets to address the crisis."

Climate Summit

"Today, I proposed at the Executive to convene a Climate Summit ahead of COP26. We need a plan and governments around the world need to step up and work together," Mallon said.

Having received support for my proposal, I will be working to ensure all departments work together so we can use the Climate Summit to develop an action plan to deal with the immediate crisis.

"We, as leaders, need to support our society through this time of crisis, and we need to make our voices heard at COP26 on the global stage.”