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Island should set itself core environmental goals, says trust chief

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JERSEY should follow Germany and Australia’s lead by implementing an all-electric car strategy and a ban on single-use plastic bags within the next five years, according to the head of the National Trust for Jersey.

National Trust chief executive Charles Alluto at the organisation’s headquarters in St Mary: ‘The States are very good at talking about their commitment to the environment, but they don’t necessarily put their money where their mouth is’

Charles Alluto, the trust’s chief executive, said he would like to see the Island set itself some core environmental objectives to aim for in the near future.

‘Whether that be a plastic-free Island or whether we aim to go all-electric in terms of new cars in the next five years, we need to do something,’ he said.

‘I think all new cars coming to the Island should be electric because the improvement to the environment would be enormous. We lack ambition in terms of our environmental goals.’

He points to Germany’s plan to implement a complete ban on internal combustion engines by 2030, and Australia’s ban on single-use plastic bags, as examples that Jersey should try to emulate.

‘Australia is a huge country and if they and other countries like Germany can do this, then we as a small Island could achieve these targets too – it ought to be much easier for us to achieve them. That’s because we can change the law and [in the case of electric cars] put the infrastructure in place relatively easily, if the will is there to do it.’

He added: ‘Manufacturing is going the way of electric cars anyway so why doesn’t Jersey take the initiative, be a bit bold and say: “In five years’ time we will put the necessary infrastructure in place so that any new cars coming to the Island will have to be electric?”

‘The question is, do we work for the benefit of the majority? If we do then surely electric cars are the way forward for Jersey.’

Mr Alluto, who has been the head of the charity since 1999, also criticised the States for what he claimed was a degree of inaction over environmental issues.

Jersey’s new Environment Minister John Young has pledged to support initiatives which could help turn the Island ‘plastic free’, including this month’s Plastic-Free July initiative – a States-run project to encourage Islanders to think about the amount of single-use plastic they use.

However, Mr Alluto added: ‘The States are very good at talking about their commitment to the environment, but they don’t necessarily put their money where their mouth is. The Environment Department budget is 0.8 per cent of government expenditure, whereas government in its publicity will talk about the environment as if it is one of the three legs of its stool.’

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