Jersey has to significantly accelerate its rate of carbon-cutting if it is to reach a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, the Government has said.
The island has signed up to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change - which sets it on a path to generating no more carbon than it absorbs by the mid-point of this century.
That trajectory requires Jersey’s carbon emissions to be 68% lower than its 1990 levels by 2030 and 78% lower by 2035.
In 2022, however, that island stands at 37% lower - meaning that it has to double what it has achieved in the past three decades in the next eight years.
This week, the Council of Ministers approved the final draft of the Government’s Carbon Neutral Roadmap, which is expected to be published today ahead of a States Assembly debate on it.
Speaking to a Scrutiny Panel of politicians tasked with reviewing the island's carbon-neutral goals, Environment Minister Deputy John Young conceded that the island had failed to meet previous carbon-cutting targets but the Roadmap set out a much clearer journey, including an implementation plan all the way to 2050.
Pictured: The Carbon Neutral Roadmap is likely to propose subsidies to buy new electric vehicles.
“The States set us off on this journey to response to the Climate Emergency, which we unanimously agreed to declare in 2019,” he said. “The honest reality is that the Carbon Neutral Roadmap is a start, which deals with the first few years of the next term, so it works within the resources available currently, but there is no question that that falls short of what will be required in the long term.
“It will be a decision for future States Members to decide how much resources and effort they are prepared to invest.
“There are no guarantees but the Roadmap answers the questions of ‘how can we do this?’”
The Roadmap was first published in December but has been refined after a period of consultation.
The version that States Members will debate is likely to include the main tenets of the first draft, which includes a plan to spend £23m over the next four years, which has already been raised by an initial £5m allocation topped up by revenues from extra fuel duty.
The money will be spent on a range of measures, including providing subsidies for new electric vehicles, a £500 ‘green living credit’ when scrapping a petrol or diesel vehicle, and helping islanders replace their oil or gas heating systems will low-carbon alternatives.
It has been estimated that moving to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will cost the Government around £250m over the next 28 years.
Express spoke to Steve Skelton, the Government's Group Director, Strategy and Innovation, about the new Carbon Neutral Roadmap...
Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.