Phase One Progress Update
As part of the Isle of Man’s response to climate change the Isle of Man Government is committed to transitioning to a net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Isle of Man Government’s Action Plan for Achieving Net Zero Emissions by 2050 – Phase 1, unanimously approved by Tynwald members in January 2020 and informed by Professor Curran’s independent report, sets out the Island’s plan for carbon neutrality.
Due to the lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions, work on delivering the First Phase Climate Change Action plan began in earnest in October 2020, when the Climate Change Transformation team were officially appointed within the Cabinet Office.
The Climate Change Transformation Team has been working closely with Governments departments, stakeholder groups and the wider community to deliver the Climate Change Action Plan; these last few months have seen real progress on the Island’s journey to net zero.
Here are some of the key highlights to date:
- The progression of the Climate Change Bill through the legislative branches, enshrining our net zero goal in law and establishing a clear framework for climate action planning and accountability for delivery.
- The Bill requires a statutory five-year plan in operation at all times; a draft Climate Change Five Year Plan has been published and a public consultation was carried out in August 2021.
- The 2021/22 budget allocation of an additional £10 million in funding to help deliver tangible climate action to reduce emissions and increase natural carbon sequestration (storage).
- Reviewed and improved the emissions data, working with the UK’s data assessment contractor, to improve understanding of the sources of emissions and removals in the Isle of Man.
- Introduced a prioritisation methodology so that we principally appraise potential projects on the basis of their net costs per unit of reduction of CO2 emissions, whilst increasingly taking account of the social and economic implications within the costs and benefits calculation.
- Delivered future energy scenarios for the Island to understand how we will reach our target of 75% renewable energy by 2035 and ultimately 100% by 2050. The scenarios revolve around the energy trilemma; security of supply, renewable generation and low cost to consumers, and are outlined for consultation in this document.
- Launched and completed the PIN process for 20MW of on-Island low carbon generation with 41 diverse applications and 6 invitations to interview, which clarified the need for a strategy around the future of energy generation in the Isle of Man.
- Commenced work on a renewable heating strategy to identify the roadmap to achieve the decarbonisation of heating systems which account for a significant proportion of our greenhouse gas emissions on the Island.
Heating homes and commercial buildings
- Developed a new, revised Green Living Grant which will support up to 1,200 home owners to retrofit their homes, making them more energy efficient and increased the overall energy ratings whilst also installing low carbon heating systems. This is predicted to save around 3,000t CO2/year.
- Liaising with Government estate managers to identify opportunities for renewable electricity and heating installations as and when buildings are undergoing remedial works or plans are being made for capital projects (for example the replacement of roofs to incorporate solar photovoltaic panels, also known as solar PV).
- Working with UCM and the construction industry on the skills needed to ensure near net zero housing, identifying and establishing courses to upskill contractors.
- DOI have purchased and are now operating six hybrid buses around the Island’s public transport network.
- Trials are being prepared to provide local hubs across the Island, where customers can access the full range of government services, as an important contribution to establishing 20 minute communities.
Emissions removal strategy
Carbon capture via natural environment
- Planted 85,000 trees at Meary Veg. The new woodland will boost carbon capture and create a new amenity for Islanders to connect with nature and boost wellbeing. Once established, this will sequester around 100t CO2 per year.
- An initial peat restoration project has been agreed, funded and started with the first 1,000 acres of restoration. This will transform some of the most degraded areas of peat from a source of emissions back into one of our most important carbon sinks.
- A working group from across Government is working on developing a specification for commissioning a comprehensive Land Management Plan. This plan will identify key opportunities and risks around land management for carbon sequestration and for emissions reduction and for climate change adaptation and resilience. This work will ensure that increasing our natural carbon capture is carried out in a manner that maximises carbon sequestration1 and wider ecosystem benefits and doesn’t have unintended consequences that we will regret in future.
- We are at the early stages of the creation of a local offsetting scheme whereby residents and businesses can offset their emissions via local nature-based sequestration schemes, which would be included in our emissions reduction figures.
1. Sequestration - Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing removing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is one method of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with the goal of reducing global climate change
Ocean-based climate solutions (blue carbon2)
- Work on a marine carbon strategy to maximise blue carbon (the carbon stored in marine and coastal ecosystems) is underway and builds on our network of 10 Marine Nature Reserves and inshore fisheries management zones. Blue carbon is an area where we believe the Island could become a global leader in innovative marine management.
2. Blue carbon is the carbon stored in coastal and marine ecosystems. It is estimated that Manx waters can capture up to 27% of the Island’s annual emissions.
- The formation of the Citizens’ Forum, a focus group representative of the Manx public set up to inform research and policy regarding Climate Change issues. The group were instrumental in the formation of the principles for the Green Living Grant.
- Working with Behavioural Change specialists on insights work (interviews, focus groups and secondary research) to inform our Change and Engagement Strategy which will ensure everyone in the Isle of Man will recognise the implications of climate change, fully understand and contribute to the Island’s response, embrace their role in the transition to net zero and are galvanised to take specific concrete actions that deliver emissions reductions.