Island is ahead of UK tackling climate change

GUERNSEY is alive to the pressing need to minimise carbon emissions, which is why it is ahead of similar decisions being made in the UK, the president of Environment & Infrastructure has said.

President of Environment & Infrastructure Lindsay de Sausmarez.
President of Environment & Infrastructure Lindsay de Sausmarez.

Earlier this month the UK set out a new ambitious climate target ahead of a UN summit whereby it will aim for at least a 68% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the decade, compared with 1990 levels.

To date, Guernsey has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by just under 29% compared with 1990 levels.

However, these reductions still fall well short of the reductions scientists say are necessary to avert dangerous levels of warming so, in August this year, Environment & Infrastructure asked the States to approve the Climate Change Policy.

Through its approval, it was agreed that the target of achieving carbon neutrality – net zero – by 2050 at the latest should be written into law. The interim target to maintain progress is to reduce emissions by 57% on 1990 levels by 2030.

However, if Guernsey can deliver the aims of the climate change policy letter, it is likely to enable the island to exceed this target and reach carbon neutrality sooner.

The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, published at www.gov.gg/ghg, will continue to measure emissions on an annual basis, which will be important to show how changes made by the island will have an overall impact on reducing emissions.

E&I president Lindsay de Sausmarez was encouraged that the need for urgent action on climate change was now becoming widely recognised.

‘As a mature and responsible jurisdiction, Guernsey is alive to the pressing need to minimise its carbon emissions and reduce its environmental impact.

‘This is why we presented our Climate Change Policy to the States ahead of any such similar decisions from the UK.’

She said the UK’s new climate target will help trigger a green economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, in the same way that the States of Guernsey has also prioritised environmentally sustainable economic initiatives as a priority for the island’s recovery.

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