Ms McLaughlin was responding to evidence from University of Exeter academics at the Assembly’s Economy Committee.
The experts warned that Northern Ireland must adopt revised building regulations to avoid the next generation of housing requiring expensive retrofits in a few years to bring down their carbon emissions.
Said the Foyle MLA: “While the South has got on with the introduction of modern building regulations that cut carbon emissions, the North is stuck in the slow lane.
“Owing to a quirk of history, responsibility for building regulations sits with the Department of Finance and its Sinn Féin minister Conor Murphy.
“Minister Murphy could potentially adopt the South’s building regulations in the North to achieve a quick win.
“Instead, Minister Murphy seems to be waiting for new building regulations to be approved in England and copy these. By doing so he is holding back the North’s progress to a net zero future.
“The economy committee has heard from energy experts at the University of Exeter that modern building regulations are essential if we are to make real progress in cutting the carbon emissions related to home heating.
“At present, housing developers can build new homes that are dependent on fossil fuels.
“This is unacceptable and absurd, given the worsening climate crisis.
“The North is acting far too slowly with this and our society needs Minister Murphy to act decisively and quickly.”Tags: