The Green New Deal
- Pursue a 'just transition' where the burden of our transition to net-zero carbon emissions does not fall on the shoulders of those who cannot afford it.
- Renegotiate our contract with Liberty Bus to provide for a more affordable and accessible service, including the electrification of the bus network.
- Improve our cycling and walking pathways to encourage active travel.
- Introduce a subsidy for households to transition to low-carbon heating systems.
- Ensuring all new-builds meet the highest standards of energy efficiency.
- Support ending the use of harmful chemicals in the countryside.
- Lead by example and divest government funds from enterprises which are involved in environmental degradation.
- Support businesses by providing training to support more environmentally aware practices in the workplace.
Climate change represents an existential crisis which will have a huge effect on small Island societies like ours. Whilst Jersey may have only a small impact on global carbon emissions, the measures we can take locally to play our part could have a big impact in improving our quality of life by enhancing our environment, reducing bills and creating new jobs.
Since the States of Jersey declared a climate emergency in May 2019, there have been successive delays, long-awaited reports and dilutions of the proposed response. Meanwhile the combined crises due to climate change and loss of biodiversity have been getting worse, both worldwide and locally. If elected to government, Reform Jersey will end the delays and put into action a coherent response.
Reform Jersey is committed to the principle of a ‘just transition’, where we do not fund the net-zero carbon agenda through measures which will cause economic hardship for those who already struggle with the cost of living.
A major source of Jersey’s carbon emissions and pollution comes from motor traffic powered by fossil fuels. We will provide positive incentives for Islanders to use alternative methods of traveling which are convenient and affordable. This will include improving our cycling infrastructure, safer walking pathways and an improved bus service. The contract with Liberty Bus will be up for renewal in this term of office. We pledge to renegotiate this contract to build on the work we have done to reduce bus fares across the board and introduce electric buses to the network.
The next biggest contributor to our carbon emissions is the heating of buildings which are inadequately insulated. We will work closely with Jersey Electricity to speed up the transition towards electric heating of homes (including using renewable systems) and the phasing out of gas. The government will need to work closely with Jersey Gas to plan carefully for the withdrawal of gas for use in domestic heating. Building standards must include the requirement for new buildings to be adequately insulated in order to reduce energy use. We pledge to introduce a subsidy to support households transitioning to low carbon heating systems. This will be funded through the Climate Emergency Fund and will provide for a more generous subsidy to low-income households.
The government should lead the way and insist that the developments built by the companies we own meet the highest standards on insulation and thermal efficiency. Ensuring that all new-builds and conversions meet the highest standards of energy efficiency via Building Regulations future proofs our housing stock.
We must enable local farming to move to ecologically regenerative practices, including composting, reduced waste and improving soil life, structure and composition. We will support ending the use of harmful, polluting chemicals in the countryside. We will increase the amount of land for native species to flourish and for people to form a better personal relationship with our wild native fauna and flora which is vital for Jersey’s biodiversity.
On top of this, Jersey is able to make a very significant difference due to our finance industry. Hundreds of billions of pounds worth of investment flow through Jersey into global markets. None of this should still be funding fossil fuels and environmental degradation. In government we will set the example by putting plans in place to divest from such investments as soon as possible.
As the economic environment changes to a more environmentally aware one, some businesses will need to change the way they operate. We will do all that we can to help existing businesses reassess their methods and priorities, and to encourage and help start-ups that have promise. Reform Jersey will support the move to a more environmentally sustainable economy. We will do all that we can to make sure that the necessary training is available and to help individuals develop their skills to support more environmentally aware practices in their workplaces, or even transition from one career to a new one.
Reform Jersey will offer an affordable, just, and manageable transition to an economy that works for all in the long term. The creation of a cleaner, greener and less expensive environment for Jersey residents is the key to this just transition.