Deputy Rob Ward has lodged a proposition calling for the parish to declare a ‘climate change’ emergency and drastically reduce its carbon footprint by 2030, after tabling similar Islandwide proposals for debate in the States Assembly next month. Carbon neutrality is when organisations, businesses or individuals remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they put into it.
If the proposals are approved at a parish assembly being held tonight, St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft will be required to draw up a carbon-neutral action plan by the end of the year.
With Jersey’s electricity supply already largely carbon neutral because virtually all of the Island’s power comes from nuclear and hydro-electric plants, reducing vehicle emissions would probably be a key target.
Mr Crowcroft said he backed Deputy Ward’s proposition and hoped parishioners could demonstrate their commitment to tackling climate change.
‘It’s a move that we would welcome and really it would be a continuation of a number of environmental initiatives that have been in the parish for some time, such as being the first parish to introduce kerbside recycling,’ he said.
‘What is useful is that it requires me to bring back a plan by the end of the year. It would involve assessing St Helier’s carbon footprint.
‘With what is going on in the world at the moment this would demonstrate that the parish, even though it is a small part of the world, is taking its environmental responsibilities seriously.’
The Constable said that approving the proposals at parish level would strengthen Deputy Ward’s case when his proposition is brought to the States next month.
He added that introducing further traffic-calming measures may not be popular with some Islanders but would help contribute to reducing carbon emissions.
‘This would show that the parish is willing to introduce measures to encourage more walking and cycling,’ he said.
‘Measures like the proposals to reduce traffic at Havre des Pas do bring the wrath of people who don’t want change. But the case for taking steps to combat climate change is becoming stronger and stronger.
‘I’m hopeful that the proposition will be endorsed by the assembly.’
The parish assembly is due to take place at 7pm at the Town Hall.