Poots sets up new pollution body

Image caption, Mr Poots said climate change is an issue for the whole executive

The establishment of a new group to tackle greenhouse gases was announced by environment minister Edwin Poots on Thursday.

The cross departmental working group will be chaired by Mr Poots.

The minister said the group will produce an action plan setting out how departments can "individually and collectively" progress towards meeting the executive's gas emission targets.

He said this will provide a cohesive and consistent approach to the issue.

"I have continually flagged up that climate change impacts across the whole executive, and that actions to tackle greenhouse gas emissions are an issue not just for me but for all my executive colleagues," he said.

The minister was responding to the Environment Committee's 'Inquiry into Climate Change Report', published last year.

The inquiry aimed to understand the implications of climate change for Northern Ireland and to make recommendations for the government's response.

The inquiry report noted that all government departments have a role to play in addressing climate change, and there was a need for a more joined up response to delivering climate change objectives.

Minister Poots said: "Over three-quarters of the recommendations have been either fully or partially accepted, with a third of these having been implemented already and the remainder being progressed."