Mrs Daphne Caine [MHK for Garff] and the Climate Change Transformation Team are to be congratulated on their comprehensive progress report to Tynwald.
Whilst welcoming any gains made in the progress toward net zero, I can’t help focusing, amongst other concerns, on the increases in carbon emissions in business, land use change and transport, and the flatlining in residential emissions: the CCTT can only do so much if these sectors continue to emit as currently.
This adds immediacy to the report’s honest and clear analysis of what they term ‘the barriers to emission reduction’.
In the report’s own words: ‘Climate change is not yet at the heart of decision making across government.
‘Underestimation of the scale of change needed, under-resourced public bodies with competing priorities.
‘Emissions reductions must become embedded into decision making across government.
‘The CCTT’s role is to facilitate departments (and other public bodies) to decide themselves how best to deliver emissions reductions but often finds itself delivering the work needed to meet our targets and statutory deadlines.’
There could not be a clearer or more pointed warning about where the problems lie and the impact of the lack of central government ownership of the issues.
With some notable exceptions, the very short debate in the Court indicated that the majority of Tynwald members are apparently content to receive the report and continue to leave the heavy lifting to the Transformation Team, giving the Council of Ministers a pass on getting to grips with these fundamental problems as another year passes until the next update report.
The Chief Minister’s closing comment that ‘of course Council of Ministers seeks to do absolutely everything it can to support that drive forward’ would carry some weight if he had given any sort of undertaking to address the barriers to progress identified.
Business as usual will not deliver Tynwald’s commitments made to respond to the climate emergency made several years ago.
The best efforts of Mrs Caine and DEFA Minister Mrs Barber will be constrained until the Council of Ministers get to grips with the issue.
The fact that over half of the identified areas of work in the Action By Action Update have not even been started is pretty shocking and shows the lack of central leadership which is needed to prove Tynwald is genuinely prioritising emissions reductions.
It saddens me to be so negative, and wish The CCTT every future success in their sterling efforts.
Isle of Man Friends of the Earth
This letter was first published in the Isle of Man Examiner of July 18.
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