Protestors in 'Gordon Brown' masks
Climate change document launched
By James McLachlan
Jersey has published its first report on climate change.
Al Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth, catapulted the issue of climate change into the global spotlight. Until then, it had been seen as the proviso of ecologists and organisations like Greenpeace.
Suddenly, politicians were falling over each other to establish their green credentials, most notably Conservative Party Leader David Cameron, who began cycling to work.
Now Jersey has published its first report on climate change in a launch party at Durrell. The document outlines the impact climate change will have on the Island and draws on the experience of a number of respected local and national authors.
The publication also preempts a States White Paper due to be released later this year on sustainable sources of energy.
Commenting on the document, the Environment and Planning minister, Senator Freddie Cohen, said: “We will be producing a white paper later in the year, which will provide us with details on sustainable sources of power.
“We are looking most specifically at tidal power. The constable of Grouville, Dan Murphy, is chairing a tidal energy group, which will morph later this year into a tidal energy commission.
“We need to put in the place a legislative framework to develop tidal energy without using public money.”
Assistant director for environmental policy Louise Magris said the report examines long term scenarios and how the island needs to be prepared.
She said: “We need to be looking ahead. We have looked at the scientifically proven evidence for the basis of climate change and how that is relevant to Jersey.
“Climate change is inevitable. How this will affect Jersey in the long term very much depends the emissions the population continues to put out. We need to be prepared for this.
In this era of environmental awareness, it would be a brave soul who argued against the science of climate change, and few would deny we all have a responsibility.
The sea defences which encircle our coast have been fending off the encroachment of the Channel for hundreds of years. However, this could all could all be in vain.
One scenario highlighted by the publication is a possible rise of one metre by 2080, which would leave many of us submerged.
Although this seems way off in the distant future, there is a genuine need to take action now, according to Louise Magris.
She said: “We must be planning ahead. Transport and Technical Services are looking at the scenarios in this document to make sure they are engineering well ahead to protect our coast.”
Pollution from a power station
There is not a day goes by without the population being bombarded with information about the perils of climate change. At times it can feel as if we are under siege. With so much information in the public eye already it is difficult to know what on earth to do.
“People are a little confused by the myriad of issues. What we have done is take the scientific view and make it very readable,” Louise Magris said.
The publication can be downloaded from the eco-active website, or you can contact the environmental department to collect a hard copy.
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last updated: 15/04/2009 at 12:27
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