As you might remember from a September article from Gef, the Climate Change Bill 2020 is currently in the legislative process, and is a chance to massively impact the Island’s route to carbon neutrality. It all kicked off in June 2019, when Tynwald voted to create a ‘Climate Emergency Transformation Team’, and now we have progressed to the legislative writing of a climate bill.
‘It is time to be ambitious’
Alongside many others, I share the view that it is time to be ambitious, to make substantial change, and safeguard our planet for future generations. Our emissions, unlike in the UK, have not seen any decrease, and with the recognition of the ‘CLIMATE EMERGENCY’ we find ourselves in, it is surely the time to act.
We have a unique post-Covid opportunity to build back a better, greener, and more sustainable island. This needs to be seized with both hands, to make the Island a centre for environmental responsibility and an example to the world of how one can live responsibly to respect the beautiful planet that we inhabit.
Climate Change is arguably the biggest threat that faces us as humanity, and is set to influence how we live, what we do, and most aspects of our lives in the not-so-distant future. But all is not lost, we have the chance to create a brighter future.
‘The chance to create a brighter future’
This opportunity for change comes in the form of the climate Bill and here is an idea for what an ambitious version could include:
– A 2035 date for carbon neutrality, which would see us become one of the world leaders in emissions reduction, and further our commitment to saving the environment.
– Interim targets for emission reduction being created, to ensure that we are on track in meeting our end goal, set into law for rolling five year intervals and enshrining the high ambition pathway into law.
– More ambitious building regulations, including a 2022 date for banning the installation of fossil fuel boilers in new builds, a 2025 date for the banning of new fossil fuel boiler installation, and the power for the government to specify low carbon building materials.
– The Citizen’s Climate Forum being enshrined into law, ensuring that all the age groups are adequately represented. (At the moment there are only two people under the age of 25 on the body, and no representation of those under 18 out of 36 members).
– All functions of public bodies to require a Climate Impact Assessment. Climate change already impacts/will impact nearly all aspects of life, so it’s important that we are aware of what is happening.
– Climate change to be included in the school curriculum, to ensure we are prepared for the effects, and teach not just the impacts but some of the ways to help combat climate change.
– A ban on the extraction of fossil fuel deposits and the move to renewable electricity generation by 2030.
‘Let’s make the change’
I urge the government to take decisive action, for you to write to your MHK’s and demand that substantial and ambitious action is taken, it is our responsibility to ensure that this planet is protected for future generations. We have progressed great strides in the past two years, but we can do so much more. Let’s be ambitious, let’s push for a green, sustainable future, let’s enact the change we need.