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Ben Fogle: Jersey’s carbon neutral bid ‘has a better chance than most’

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JERSEY’S bid to achieve carbon neutrality is a ‘far more realistic target’ than efforts in the UK, broadcaster and adventurer Ben Fogle said during a visit to the Island on Thursday.

Ben Fogel at the Royal Yacht Picture:DAVID FERGUSON. (24881348)

The TV presenter, whose achievements include rowing the Atlantic and climbing Mount Everest, was the keynote speaker at an investment seminar organised by Cazenove Capital CI.

Attracting an audience of several hundred guests of the wealth management specialist, the event focused on the importance of sustainability in creating a prosperous future in business.

A committed environmentalist who has campaigned extensively about the need to eliminate single-use plastic, Mr Fogle used his experiences to inspire his audience and highlight the importance of preserving the planet.

Speaking ahead of the seminar at the Royal Yacht Hotel, Mr Fogle backed Jersey’s recent pledge to achieve carbon neutral status by 2030.

‘If I was a betting man, I’d say you have a better chance than most places,’ he said. ‘I think Jersey should go for it and be applauded – the Island has a reputation as a money place, but it would be great to combine that with environmental progress.

‘I don’t know of any island that has reached carbon neutrality and there’s a race to achieve it. I think it’s a far more realistic target than Extinction Rebellion seeking to make the UK, a country of 60 million people, carbon neutral by 2025.

‘It’s crucial that investment is directed towards environmentally and socially friendly businesses in order to combat issues such as climate change and habitat destruction – if you don’t start to make changes, you will get left behind.’

Mr Fogle has visited Jersey on several occasions for a range of broadcasting work, and for holidays, but was making his first trip to the Island after a gap of around ten years.

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Other speakers from Cazenove Capital CI and parent company Schroders discussed the growing trend for investors to choose sustainable investments.

Charles Somers, portfolio manager, highlighted ‘a complete sea-change’ in this area, with environmental concerns now being ‘front and centre’ of the agenda. ‘The younger generation care about our carbon footprint and it is incumbent on us to take these things seriously,’ he said.

Euan Dangerfield, client director, said that being diligent about environmental and social issues was something that clients increasingly demanded, and that the effects on long-term returns on investment should be positive.

The audience, estimated at 350 people across the Jersey seminar and a ‘twin’ event held in Guernsey on Wednesday, heard that 76% of investors believed sustainable investing was more important than five years ago.

Research showed that 64% of investors had increased their sustainable investments in the past five years with an even higher proportion – three-quarters – of millennials doing the same.

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