Emelita Robbins has also called for the position of Energy Minister – a role that would include responsibility for ‘climate-friendly’ policies – to be established ahead of next year’s general election, with a view to ensuring action is taken to reduce carbon emissions.
States Members are soon due to vote on a roadmap designed to achieve carbon neutrality that was created in line with the recommendations of the CACC, which was formed following the States declaration of a climate crisis in 2019.
The Chamber held an in-committee debate on the group’s report, which suggested a number of proposals for achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, in July and set out proposals for a ‘preferred strategy’ on the issue.
Ms Robbins said that policy officers were now working on the plan, with a view to it being tabled for States approval this month.
She added that former members of the now disbanded CACC would like to see a new ministerial position and non-governmental body established to ensure that the States followed through with its commitments.
‘One of the recommendations was that there would be a minister for energy appointed at the very least by the election next year to form part of the government going forward, if not before,’ she said.
‘Participants are really keen to see not only the States Assembly and government adopt their recommendations and roadmap, but to see some concrete action now.’
She added: ‘In addition to an energy minister, who would have responsibility for climate-friendly policies across all areas of government, there’s also a desire to see the creation of a body to uphold the ambition of both the citizens’ assembly and the carbon-neutral roadmap.
‘This would be a body that would ensure that the carbon-neutral roadmap remains a focus.’
Ms Robbins suggested that a name for the body could be ‘Sustainable Jersey’ and that members would include representatives from the utility companies and the business community.
‘The citizens’ assembly process focused on the two highest areas of emissions in the Island – transport and heating,’ she explained.
‘You would look at stakeholders in both of those areas, who are going to be either government entities or organisations, which have the most ability to reduce emissions.
‘There is a real scope for a range of corporates as well. There was a big focus in the assembly on sustainable finance, which Jersey, as a leading finance sector, could respond to as well.’