Minister encourages responses to draft Green Growth Strategy during meeting with green hydrogen project

Date published: 14 December 2021

Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Edwin Poots MLA has met with representatives from hydrogen-based technology project GenComm during a visit to Belfast Metropolitan College’s Millfield Campus, where he discussed their work on green hydrogen and the resultant benefits for Northern Ireland.

Minister Poots is pictured with (left to right) Chris Corken, Head of Department for Science, Engineering and Construction at Belfast Metropolitan College and Paul McCormack, lead partner of GenComm and innovation manager of Belfast Metropolitan College.

GenComm is an Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) funded project, which aims to stimulate the uptake of renewable hydrogen-based technologies and empower communities to implement hydrogen-based energy mediums to sustainably satisfy their energy demand. The Belfast Metropolitan College is the lead partner of this project.

During his visit Minister Poots said: “I am delighted to meet with representatives from the GenComm project today and very much welcome their efforts to develop and implement renewable hydrogen-based technologies, which are vital as we aim to move towards a cleaner, greener society. Whilst decarbonising our economy may be seen by some as carrying risks, it will generate many opportunities and Northern Ireland is particularly well placed to avail of them. Through innovation, research and development and investment we can lay the foundations for a green revolution, the next industrial revolution which can rejuvenate our economy following the Covid-19 crisis.”

The Minister continued: “The recently launched NI Executive’s multi-decade draft Green Growth Strategy seeks to adopt a holistic approach to tackling the climate crisis by balancing climate action with the environment and the economy in a way that benefits all our people. It means using the move from a high to a low greenhouse gas emissions society to improve people’s quality of life through green jobs and a clean, resilient environment. GenComm is just one example of the many projects or organisations in NI that are seeking to create green jobs in innovative green technologies in order to tackle climate change and I very much welcome the work that they do.”

During his visit to the College, Minister Poots also met with young people to listen and hear their views on Green Growth, as well as to gauge their level of interest and understanding with regard to climate change action.

Welcoming this opportunity, Minister Poots said: “My officials and I actively seek out the views and opinions of young people as they will be invaluable in helping us shape the long-term direction and shorter-term of our action plans. Listening to and acting on the views of young people is a must for the success of the multi-decade Green Growth Strategy. The consultation on the draft Strategy closes on 21st December and I would therefore encourage everyone who hasn’t already, to have their say on this vital matter.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Download the draft Green Growth Strategy.
  2. The consultation on the draft Green Growth Strategy closes on 21st December 2021. Following consideration of all responses, a full analysis report will be published on DAERA’s website.
  3. GenComm is an Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) funded project. Interreg NWE is a European Territorial Cooperation Programme funded by the European Commission. It invests €370 million of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in activities based on the cooperation of organisations from eight countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
  4. The Belfast Metropolitan College is the lead partner of this project. There are eight other project partners from a range of locations in North West Europe. GenComm aims to stimulate the uptake of renewable hydrogen-based technologies and empower communities to implement hydrogen-based energy matrixes to sustainably satisfy their energy demand. The project’s main focus is green hydrogen.
  5. The Education Authority worked with a team of young people from various organisations, to co-design a youth survey and facilitate a focus group to help shape the draft Green Growth Strategy.  The focus group includes representatives from Mid Ulster Youth Voice, Belfast Climate Commission Youth Working Group, CAFRE, Lisburn Castlereagh Youth Council (Youth Voice group), Newry and Mourne Youth council (Youth Voice group), Ulster Wildlife, Grassroots Challenge, Causeway Coast and Glens Youth Voice, Fermanagh and Omagh Youth Voice and North West Ministry of youth (Derry and Strabane youth voice group); and include youth aged 16 to 22 years, from both rural and urban backgrounds with a wide range of interests.
  6. For media enquiries please contact DAERA Press Office.
  7. Follow DAERA on Twitter and Facebook
  8. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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