Today’s Active Travel event highlights the efforts being made across government to encourage the public to walk and cycle to work and school.
Along with the long term health benefits, there will also be a number of improvements to our environment, including better air quality as people take fewer car journeys. This will also help us to reduce our overall carbon emissions on the Island.
Today I am announcing that we will be bringing forward a Climate Change Bill which will be presented to Tynwald in the next legislative year. We have taken on board the comments and concerns of our residents during the climate change mitigation consultation, and I look forward to working with all Tynwald members in developing this bill.
This Climate Change Bill will commit this government and future administrations to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 in line with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.
Alongside the Bill will be an action plan outlining key objectives to help us achieve this.
The majority of recent increases in our carbon emissions comes from residential properties and we must identify ways to reduce this.
As part of this plan we will look into a number of imminent actions. These will be:
- New Building Regulations which include the introduction of a SAP energy efficiency rating for homes with an escalating target for all new properties, to be brought into July Tynwald
- The launch of a retro fit competition for houses, the re-launch of the energy efficiency grant scheme and the banning of peat cutting within months
- We will ban all fossil fuel boilers in new build housing by 2025, ban the sale of new fossil fuel cars by 2040 and install cycle racks and showers at all suitable Public buildings, as well as introduce incentives for Tree planting under the imminent revisions of the agricultural support scheme.
We have received over 600 responses so far on the Climate Change Consultation and this feedback reflects the sense of urgency and willingness from the public to embrace climate change on the Island.
It’s important to note that while we make progress towards this action plan, each one of us as individuals must continue to play a role in this too.
Greta Thunberg and our own younger generation on the Island have made their voices heard over recent months, and I would encourage these students to continue to pave the way forward in their everyday lives too.
This government recognises the climate change emergency that is facing the planet, and we are committed to acting on this. We are not about words, we are about the actions that we take and we will work with Tynwald members, the public and interested groups to put in place a comprehensive action plan to reach this achievable target.
This won’t be easy and it will take all of us to play a part to save the planet for future generations.
Thank you for coming to today’s event and now I will handover to Minister Harmer, Minister for Infrastructure to say a few words.
*SAP = Standard Assessment Procedure