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WATCH: Climate activists pressure politicians ahead of debate

WATCH: Climate activists pressure politicians ahead of debate

Tuesday 25 February 2020

WATCH: Climate activists pressure politicians ahead of debate


A local campaign group aimed to pile the pressure onto politicians as they entered the States Chamber this morning ahead of a major debate on the island's plan for going 'carbon neutral.'

Mirroring the striking aesthetic of protest performances in the UK, red-robed Extinction Rebellion Jersey campaigners silently processed into the Royal Square and around town this morning ahead of the key debate.

The mournful display aims to put pressure on politicians ahead of this afternoon's debate on the Government's plan to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Video: A fraction of Extinction Rebellion's 'Red Brigade' determined to make politicians pay attention to the climate crisis.

Describing 2020 as “the make or break year for the climate emergency”, the environmental lobby group’s protest was aimed at getting political and public support for their cause. 

Claiming that the Environment Minister’s Carbon Neutral Strategy is “simply not enough", Extinction Rebellion Jersey is calling for the government “to broaden their objectives and… to move faster, the clock is ticking".

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Pictured: The environmental campaigners are staging another protest this morning ahead of the carbon neutral debate.

The group previously told Express it wants the mandate of the Citizens’ Assembly proposed by the strategy to be binding and to be given a wider remit.

The climate protesters have also called for there to be an obligation on Jersey-registered companies to disclose investments in what they term “the destruction of the planet."

In staging the protest, Extinction Rebellion Jersey also wanted to get across that “we need a climate emergency strategy, not a carbon neutral badge".

Meanwhile, a group promoting cycling – Cycle4Jersey (C4J) – is backing the Carbon Neutral Strategy wholeheartedly, saying that getting a head start on sustainable transport now “will make the transition to a low carbon economy easier and cheaper in the long run".

Member of C4J Keith Davis said that cycling offered a “literally people-powered” contribution to cutting emissions and meeting the government’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral in just a decade. 

“Cycling is not the entire solution, but those who can cycle should and those who can’t should support those who do. Adopting the Carbon Neutral Strategy is a chance for States Members to do this, to show their support. 

“The first part of this transformation is to recognise the real cost of car use to the community and the island of Jersey. Then the obvious action will be to invest in cycling infrastructure, and the return on this investment will be clear. Not just in reduced long-term costs to the community, but also improved mental and physical health, reduced congestion, better land use, and an improved local environment." 

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Pictured: Cycle4Jersey are calling for politicians to back the strategy. (Government of Jersey)

These reactions to the upcoming carbon neutral debate follow a St. Brelade’s Parish meeting to discuss the findings of their parish working group’s report. 

The working group’s recommendations, which were agreed, included proposals for alternative energy sources, promoting car-pooling and installing LEDs in street lights.

Their recommendations were for St. Brelade to: 

  • encourage secure cycle parking connected with public transport;
  • replace Parish vehicles with hybrids or electric vehicles when due for replacement;
  • support car sharing schemes;
  • develop a plan to install solar panels on Parish properties;
  • use environmentally-friendly paper;
  • support the composting of food waste produced by hotels and restaurants;
  • consider steering away from fossil fuel investments;
  • install LED street lights when due to be replaced;
  • plant more trees and pollinator patches;
  • issue a special edition of the Parish newsletter detailing green initiatives in St. Brelade. 

The Carbon Neutral Strategy and its amendments – brought by Deputies Kirsten Morel, Rob Ward and the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel – are due to be debated by the Assembly this afternoon.

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Posted by Peter Richardson on
I started cycling to work 35 years ago and never drive into town even now. There is more that can and should be done but if ER think that phasing out fossil fuels will ever work they are sadly simplistic and mistaken. The decisions to reduce air travel, invest in railways and promote green transport should have been taken 50 years ago and with Chine and India developing along with SE Asia ruinous climate change cannot be avoided. Tell all those people at every airport or cruise ship during the school holidays that they are destroying the planet for their children and see what they say to you.
Posted by Jon Jon on
Bring back cycle tax and make sure cyclists have insurance should be first step.
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