MLC Bill Henderson has said that the government has done a lot of ‘mapping’ and not taken enough action in terms of its climate change plan.
It comes as the annual climate change progress report, prepared by the climate change transformation team, was presented in Tynwald.
On introducing the report, Chief Minister, Alfred Cannan said that although the climate change plan was delayed, so the effective reporting period is less than six months, good progress has been made.
He added that since the plan was approved the UK has officially extended ratification of the Paris Agreement to the island, which he believes demonstrates faith in the island’s commitment and progress towards net zero by 2050.
In the debate that followed, Douglas East MHK, Joney Faragher, outlined her concerns, where she said that the climate change team was ‘significantly under resourced’.
She also spoke of the funding process being laborious and time-consuming which she said ‘is not in keeping with the pace of change needed to react to the climate emergency’.
She said: ‘A small and under resourced team which doesn’t sit centrally in decision-making is structurally very worrying and the driver for all the omissions that we can already see in this document cannot be left to the climate change board and team solely and has to be taken on by an overseeing group of ministers.’
MLC Bill Henderson said: ‘All we seem to be doing is mapping a way forward.’
He believes that government has not focused enough on the individual behavioural changes that need to be made in order to tackle the climate crisis.
He said: ‘We are doing little, by way of public promotion to energise the necessary behavioural change.
‘What we think is normal now, won’t be and we will have to go and bring in a new normal.
‘An average human being produces around 12 tonnes of carbon a year.
‘There are energy efficiency measures all around our homes that would help reduce our carbon footprint as well as recycling, these kinds of common sense moves need to be promoted.’
Michelle Haywood, Rushen MHK, said that more practical actions need to take place.
She said: ‘The biggest gains to me seem to come from how we count and measure emissions, but we all know that unless there are changes in how we live, travel and work, that becomes just a paper exercise.
‘I have real concerns that the sector reductions of 15% do by 2027, are not yet really getting started, it will take years to plan and change the infrastructure and equipment and to actually deliver a reduction.’
She asked whether reductions would be late in delivery.
Tim Glover, Arbory, Castletown and Malew MHK said that the government has not set an example yet, which he called disappointing.
He also said there are business opportunities if this is resourced properly, but as of yet he said that a lot has not started, including the upskilling of industry.
Yet one MHK disagrees with the notion of climate change.
Middle MHK, Stu Peters, said: ‘Does the chief minister think that we’ve seen a good enough return for the tens of millions of pounds spent in the Isle of Man on climate change?
He added: ‘Climate change is a cult and an industry that involves and employs millions of people.’