Our environment is our most precious commodity
We are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful islands in the world where our environment is our most precious commodity. Jersey, our island, is “9 miles by 5”. It is the place we live, the place we work and the place we relax, it underpins our way of life.
Protecting, maintaining and enhancing our environment has never been more important.
The need to protect our environment, and therefore that of the world as a whole, is clear. The evidence is all around, from forest fires in Turkey to droughts in Australia, from floods in Germany to the melting of the ice caps in the Antarctic, what happens elsewhere will have impact right here in Jersey.
We neglect or ignore our environment at our peril. We have a responsibility to future generations to protect and improve our local environment right now, whether in our air, on our land, or in our territorial waters.
We say we are committed to protecting our valuable environment through policies such as the Carbon Neutral and Sustainable Transport policies, but when it comes to overall leadership from the government, the commitment to implement these plans is too slow and less than clear.
Addressing the global environmental crisis requires a transformational effort by leaders around the world. It is not a task for the next generation of local leaders, but one that requires urgent interventions right now, in the short term, and not just from the government but from business and individuals alike.
The Progress Party want to lead, and tackle these challenges, in ways that enables us to maintain access to affordable housing, sustainable transport and energy but equally with an eye on protecting our environment and maintaining a vibrant economy. It’s a difficult challenge, but one that The Progress Party want to be front and centre of by providing strong governmental leadership and innovative ideas rather than the sound bites and empty promises of the current government.
The Progress Party is committed to develop and implement island wide programmes to protect, maintain and enhance our environment. We will work effectively with, and not against, islanders. We will introduce, develop and implement plans to make Jersey the low carbon island it says it wants to be, and must be, if we are to play our part internationally. We will reduce our emissions. We will protect the air we breathe, the land we cultivate, and the sea we fish in. We will commit to new science, new technologies and new thinking in line with the values of the party.
Our developing Environmental Policies
Government should be at the forefront of reducing the islands reliance on fossil fuels. The Progress Party will provide the leadership to invest in sustainable transport and energy. Within months, not years, we will deliver a de-carbonisation programme that we believe will motivate the private sector to follow. Low carbon alternatives are today’s technology and could provide government with ways to, not only ways to reduce carbon emissions but also, save the taxpayer money in the long term.
As we develop our election manifesto for next year’s election we will develop policy to protect and, where possible, enhance the quality, extent and accessibility of Jersey’s open spaces and natural environment for both islanders and visitors alike. Being able to discover Jersey’s rich heritage and diverse countryside should be a key marketing tool for Visit Jersey. All of us, especially the younger generation, are becoming increasingly aware of the wide variety of wildlife we are fortunate to have all around us and we must continue to protect our land and marine environment. In urban areas we will work with the Connétables to improve the quality of public amenities, be those green spaces, play spaces or open spaces.
Farming and Fishing
Brexit has thrown up many new challenges that will need to be managed through strong leadership as we look to support two of our traditional primary industries. We will work alongside our valued and hardworking farming community as they look to farm and manage large areas of our countryside. We need to ensure that species and habitats are protected, a rich biodiversity is encouraged, and the appearance, character and traditions which make up our diverse countryside are supported. The same applies to our fishing industry who are currently facing an unprecedented threat to their livelihoods, and their fish stocks. Over coming months The Progress Party will develop policy on how best to promote the most sustainable forms of land management, farming and fishing.
Planning: the Balance
In line with our policy of migration and population control, we will identify brown field sites sites to reduce the pressure on the green zone for building purposes. Where development does take place (and one of the few reasons would be to help solve the affordable housing crisis) we will ensure it embraces high quality standards appropriate to the environment in which we live. Opportunities will exist for development on and around current sites outside of the built up areas, but its vital that any such development is sensitive to it’s surroundings and that our heritage retains its distinctive character.
Energy & Carbon Management
The Progress Party believe that there are both regulatory and market barriers that discourage greater use of sustainable energy such as solar and wind. We will investigate why such barriers exist. We will develop policy that will encourage private residents and businesses to invest in more environmentally friendly energy sources. We will provide the impetus behind sustainable energy projects, and champion support to reduce our carbon footprint.
Moving Jersey from fossil fuel energy production to nuclear and sustainable imported electricity provided us with an opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint. However, reaching the government’s targets in the Carbon Neutral Strategy will only be achieved by making our transport network, housing and energy system more renewable and secure. As a party we see the need to invest in more wind, solar and other renewable and sustainable energy sources.
In line with delivering a de-carbonisation programme for government, The Progress Party will incentivise our public transport providers to transition to low carbon alternative vehicles. There is also a huge part for islanders to play in considering how they can reduce their own carbon footprint by both changing their travel habits and mode of transport. We should, as an island, incentivise the use of all electric powered transport be it cars, motorbikes, bikes or scooters as they all reduce carbon emissions.
The Progress Party will increase the supply of all carbon neutral transport in Jersey, and consider how owning, or using, a low carbon vehicle can be a reality for all in Jersey.
We will escalate the development and investment in walking and cycling improvements and other non-carbon alternative ways of travelling around Jersey.
Recent changes in law to reduce the use of plastic bags in Jersey is a very small step in the right direction. The Progress Party will focus on innovative ways to minimise waste, and the environmental impact of its disposal. Waste comes in many forms and its vital that government considers all types of waste and how it is both produced and dealt with.
How will we achieve this environmental policy?
We will ensure that environmental considerations are at the core of all government policy decisions and integrated into all future programmes. We are clear that government must lead on the delivery of the Carbon Neutral Strategy and promote de-carbonisation island wide.
We will provide the leadership required to develop a robust and sustainable environmental policy to further protect and improve the environment.
We recognise that everyone has a role to play in protecting our environment, but the government must lead and provide the infrastructure for this to succeed. The Progress Party will work with all stakeholders to develop sustainable solutions. The private sector also has an important role to play as we move to a low-carbon economy and government will need to support Jersey businesses to transition away from a fossil fuel-based economy.
We will lead from the front with a committed Island wide programme to manage and protect our environment more effectively, to make Jersey a low carbon island.