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'Climate change emergency' declared

'Climate change emergency' declared

Thursday 02 May 2019

'Climate change emergency' declared

The States Assembly has voted to declare a 'climate change emergency' in Jersey - by 40 votes in favour and one against.

The move, which follows a similar one voted on by the UK government yesterday, means that the Environment Minister, Deputy John Young, will have to come up with an action plan on how to tackle the issue of global warming and make Jersey carbon neutral by 2030.

In a rousing speech, Reform Jersey's Deputy Rob Ward, who brought the proposals to the States Assembly, called on politicians to back his climate battle, telling them that although Jersey is a small nation, it should be "forward-thinking" and "lead the way" for change.


Pictured: Deputy Rob Ward, who brought the proposition.

In the end, 40 politicians chose to back the motion, with only Senator Sarah Ferguson voting against.

The Senator said that, although she supported the environment, she didn't feel she could support the motion following a speech that likened ecological socialism to "a dictatorship".

It comes after numerous protests in recent weeks by islanders young and old.

Video: Young people protesting climate change last month.

Last month, dozens of young people took part in the 'FridaysForFuture' campaign.

Carrying signs including phrases such as "There is no planet B" and "only fools want fossil fuels", they appeared outside the States Chamber in a rally inspired by 16-year-old activist Greta Thurnberg, who sat outside the Swedish parliament protesting the lack of action against climate change.

Weeks later, they were followed by a Jersey branch of the international Extinction Rebellion movement, who laid down three demands - including urging the government to "tell the truth" and declare an "ecological emergency".

Video: Extinction Rebellion protestors in the Royal Square.

Then this week, 'Mothers Rise Up Jersey' - "a grassroots movement powered by mothers to demand drastic action to prevent catastrophic climate breakdown and protect our children's future" - joined the fray, alongside the National Trust for Jersey.

In a tweet following today's debate, Deputy Ward said he was "pleased" that the Assembly had voted to adopt his proposals.

"Let's get on with making the change we need for now and all of our futures."

The Minister for the Environment has since commented in a statement:

"I'm delighted that the States Assembly has recognised the urgent need for Jersey to accelerate its carbon reduction actions, aiming to be carbon-neutral by 2030. On behalf of the Council of Ministers I will bring forward a plan on how to achieve this to the States Assembly by the end of 2019.

"This aim supports the existing Energy Plan actions, and aligns with the 'to protect and value our environment' key strategic priority in the Common Strategic Policy, adopted by the Assembly in December 2018.

"Achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 is extremely ambitious and challenging and will require new policies and measures. The majority of the island's emissions arise from hydrocarbon space heating in homes and businesses and from our travel and transport, both on-island and from eternal links.

"I will be encouraging the Assembly to be brave and make difficult decisions to reduce our carbon emissions. In making these decisions the States Assembly will need to evaluate the social and economic impacts of their commitment to the island and islanders in the future."

IN TWEETS: The climate change debate as it unfolded...

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Posted by Jon Jon on
Well done Sarah Ferguson! Looks like we are being dictated to over this,so no more motorised cars,no eating beef and lamb ,no oil central heating,well so far this states can p off! I'll do and drive what I want,eat what I want and heat my home as I see fit! Jerseys an island the size of a pin head and we get idiots running it!
Posted by The old git Git on
Well said Jon Jon me and mine will do the same.
Posted by Dave Lelievre on
And another way to get more money out of the public to boost their pockets to spend on more world experts to come to Jersey.
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