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Environment Minister to undergo name rebrand

Environment Minister to undergo name rebrand

Thursday 12 October 2023

Environment Minister to undergo name rebrand

Thursday 12 October 2023

Ministers and departments across Government have undergone several 'rebrands' in recent years – with the Environment Minister the latest to make a change to reflect the priority of carbon neutrality.

The Chief Minister confirmed in a report published last week that the ministerial office will be renamed to 'Minister for Energy and Environment'.

The name change came at the request of current Environment Minister, Deputy Jonathon Renouf, who in recent months has been examining the potential for a wind farm in the island's territorial waters. He recently said that the island could have a wind farm "within eight years".

The Ministerial title change was explained in a report published earlier this year as being necessary "to reflect an increased emphasis on energy, including its affordability, the security of supply, and its importance in achieving carbon neutrality".

Beyond matters relating to sustainability and wildlife, the Minister's portfolio also includes responsibility for protecting the island's natural and built environment through planning and building laws, and overseeing matters related to food safety and regulation surrounding rented homes.

At the end of 2022, Deputy Renouf named Hilary Jeune as his Assistant Minister. Delegated responsibility for matters relating to energy and climate change, she was described by Government at the time as Jersey’s first 'Minister for Energy and Climate Change' and shortly after represented the island at COP27.

The new position was a recommendation of the Carbon Neutral Roadmap, which was agreed by the States Assembly in April 2022.

Hilary Jeune

Pictured: Deputy Hilary Jeune was appointed as Jersey’s first Minister for Energy and Climate Change at the end of last year.

Announcing Deputy Jeune's appointment at the time, Deputy Renouf said: “Creating this Ministerial portfolio demonstrates how seriously the Government is taking our responsibility to reduce emissions and to follow the trajectory of the Paris Agreement on a path to net-zero by 2050."

As well as energy policy and the climate emergency, Deputy Jeune also has delegated responsibility for complaints under Article 6 of the High Hedges Law.

Previous Gov 'rebrands'...

The office of the Environment Minister isn't the only part of Government to have undergone a rebrand in recent years.

Goodbye States of Jersey

Kicking things off was a decision to drop 'States of Jersey' and adopt 'Government of Jersey' as the public service's new identity.

This came as former CEO Charlie Parker worked through his 'OneGov' plan to tear up the structure of Government and create several new departments.

This also meant renaming and merging existing ones.

Dual rebrand as Ministerial roles split

In 2021, the Education Minister became the 'Children and Education Minister', while the Minister for Housing also became the Minister for Housing and Communities.

The changes followed several departures from the then-Chief Minister John Le Fondré's Government, with the top politician explaining at the time: 

“As we have seen during the outbreak of covid-19, education and the well-being of children and young people are intrinsically linked. 

“Joining the portfolio for Children and Education will enable the Minister to focus on joining up legislation, policy and practice to make sure that children’s needs are understood and met through our work: this will truly mean Putting Children First."

He continued: “I’d like to thank the Children’s Commissioner, who has made many good arguments in favour of this change, and who continues to work in the best interests of children.

“This change also presents us with an opportunity to reconfigure the role of Minister for Housing: by introducing a focus on communities into this role, we will therefore have a champion and support for good housing but also for critical elements of our community.”

The 'super-department'

The now-Infrastructure and Environment (I&E) department was first created in 2018 as the Growth, Housing and Island Environment (GHE) department.

In 2019, the then-Economic Development Minister Senator Farnham suggested that work to do with the economy should be removed from the department's remit.

That suggestion was acted on in early 2020, with a decision taken to create a separate 'Economy' function, sitting within the Office of the Chief Executive.

With the 'Growth' (economy) section having left, GHE's name was then changed to Infrastructure, Housing and Environment (IHE) in late 2020.

This year, the department – one of Government's largest – recently underwent its third rebrand in just five years.

The change removed Housing from the department, leaving just Infrastructure and Environment.

Infrastructure alone has gone through several rebrands, having been known as Transport and Technical Services (TTS) and, before that, Public Works.

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