‘Change laws now or face climate chaos’

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CLIMATE change is here and Jersey must address the way people travel and the way they heat their homes now, according to an environmental campaigner.

Nigel Jones, chair of Jersey in Transition, has warned of ‘climate chaos’ if tackling the problem is left to individuals rather than led by changes in the law.

Grass fires, dried-up streams and dropping water levels in Jersey’s reservoirs have prompted warnings from both the Island’s Fire and Rescue Service and Jersey Water to take greater care of Jersey’s natural resources.

Mr Jones, who was a Reform Jersey candidate at the last election, said: ‘This is exactly what we’ve been warning about for more than 20 years. The climate is changing and records are being broken every year, but it’s only the beginning. Climate change is happening right now and although individual action is useful, what we need now is government action, a change in the rules and in the laws.’

He said the government had ‘a responsibility’ to take the lead through an information campaign, similar to the one used early in the pandemic, explaining how people should protect themselves and others as ‘the stable climate starts to break down’.

He said two main issues – how people travel and how homes and businesses are heated – needed to be addressed immediately.

Mr Jones said: ‘We need to have lots more people catching buses, riding bicycles and using electric wheels, such as scooters and skateboards. At the moment, some of these transport methods are technically illegal so we need to change the law to get lots of people out of their cars. We also need to offer encouragement and financial incentives to persuade people to move away from heating their homes using oil and gas.’

He added: ‘Some people say there’s only 100,000 of us in Jersey so we can’t make a difference but if every community of 100,000 people everywhere in the world made these changes, the climate would be more stable. If we don’t take action, we will be facing climate chaos.’

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