Isle of Man sets new climate change target

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Tynwald has unanimously approved a move by Environment Minister Phil Gawne to abandon its green energy target in favour of a new one.

A Council of Ministers report on the renewable energy target concluded a commitment to have 15 per cent of energy generated from renewable sources by 2015 was unachievable.

Instead, government will now adopt an EU target to cut greenhouse gases by 80 per cent from 1990 levels by the year 2050.

Mr Gawne insisted that the new target was ‘ambitious but achievable’, saying: ‘We wouldn’t have brought it forward if we didn’t think we could deliver on it.’

Isle of Man government drops 2015 climate change target

He denied that it was a mistake for government to set the 12 per cent by 2015 renewable energy target in May 2010, saying: ‘It was the right decision at the time which has subsequently been proven wrong.’

Onchan MHK David Quirk said he would like to have seen a target which was a bit closer.

Mr Gawne said the department would be reporting back to Tynwald about different strategies to meet the target.

In addition, a CoMin report on environment and infrastructure policy, setting out the general framework for the policy’s development was approved.

It outlined key objectives on issues including the effects of climate change, food security, reducing the cost of energy and sustainable development.

It states that a strategy will be developed for potential economic development and revenue opportunities in the island’s marine environment from energy production.

And government will work with commercial partners to produce renewable energy from offshore wind, tidal power and clean energy from gas and coal gasification for export to neighbouring jurisdictions.

Speaker of the House of Keys Steve Rodan MHK said much of the reports were ‘aspirational’ and ‘there must be concern much of what is written here is not going to be delivered’.

Douglas East MHK Brenda Cannell said she was keen to see the introduction of a Green Deal home improvement scheme, introduced in the UK in January.

The scheme allows people to pay for energy-saving home improvements over time, through their electricity bill.

Mr Gawne said that he wanted to establish a Manx Homes Energy Efficiency Scheme, which would be similar to the Green Deal.

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