Island needs to act quicker – climate group
EXTINCTION Rebellion Guernsey has criticised a proposal to draw up a climate change action plan as lacking in urgency.
The Policy & Resources Committee said in its update to the Policy and Resource Plan that it was seeking to make mitigating climate change one of its prime policy objectives.
It is to ask members to approve directing Environment & Infrastructure to start work on drawing up an action plan on climate change to come back to the States before May next year.
The local branch of the climate change protest group said that it was encouraged that this plan was central to the P&R Plan. ‘We fully support all policies being considered in terms of their impact on climate change,’ said the group.
But things were not moving fast enough, it added. ‘However, the proposed action plan report date of May 2020 lacks the urgency that is clearly required.’
It urged the island to declare a climate and ecological emergency now and to put time and resources into drawing up and acting on a plan as soon as possible.
‘It doesn’t matter if the plan or action we take isn’t perfect; we can improve it as we progress and as the impact of the emergency unfolds.
‘We have the opportunity within Guernsey right now to make a difference and curb our direct and indirect contributions to climate change, and we should take it.
‘Let’s all keep in mind how we will be judged in the not-too-distant future, by our children and our grandchildren if we don’t act with the urgency that is required.’
P&R member Jonathan Le Tocq said that the States was already working on a number of initiatives which were having an impact on climate change, and to declare an emergency would not make progress any quicker.
‘I think the danger is that it’s easy to get on the bandwagon of declaring a climate emergency and I would say to them, that, for those that have, it might be a tick in the box but is there any evidence of any faster work?’
He referred to such things as the biodiversity strategy, as well as the waste strategy, which he said was very much focused on the issues surrounding climate change, plus the integrated transport strategy.
The report itself also refers to the hydrocarbons supply programme, renewable energy and the long-term infrastructure investment plan.
‘This may have not been done under the banner of a climate change emergency, but I don’t think it would make any difference to do that. In fact it would be somewhat disingenuous if we sought to do that.’
The P&R plan was about the island taking responsibility for its priorities and attaching resources, in particular financially, to those priorities, he said.