Minutes of the Jersey Climate Action Network meeting on 28 July 2009

July 29th, 2009 by Jeremy Harris

Eleven people were present, including Francis Binney, Mark Forskitt, Jeremy Harris, Hazel Jones, and Roger Jones.

Apologies were received from Nigel Jones, Maya Hammarsal, Paul Hammarsal and Joy Thomson.

The minutes of the meeting held on 30th June, having been previously circulated, were taken as read and were confirmed.

‘Turning Point’:

Mark welcomed Deputy Rob Duhamel, Assistant Minister – Planning and Environment, and Dr. Louise Magris, Assistant Director – Environmental Policy, for a discussion on the ‘Turning Point’ report and climate change in Jersey.

Deputy Duhamel said that he was firmly of the view that radical changes in lifestyle were needed if the local population were to respond adequately to the challenges posed by climate change.

For example, home working and video-conferencing could be adopted much more extensively, and this would significantly reduce emissions from transport. Active consideration also needed to be given to alternatives to air transport, food production, and land use.

Although agreeing that radical changes were needed, the majority of those present felt that there was also value in taking incremental steps towards changes in lifestyle, e.g. increasing subsidies for public transport, making land available for allotments, promoting recycling etc. Such changes helped to raise awareness of key issues, and could serve as a basis for further change.

In relation to the ‘Turning Point’, Dr. Magris said that the next step would be to publish a white paper on energy policy. A draft paper was currently being prepared and was planned for publication in January 2010, i.e. shortly after the Copenhagen Conference. In the meantime, progress had been made on two energy initiatives –

(1) The Energy Efficiency Programme provided grants to low-income households to help reduce energy bills and improve energy efficiency.

The funding for the first year of the programme (2008-2009) had been given by the States of Jersey and the Jersey Electricity Company, but funding had yet to be secured to enable the scheme to continue;

(2) The Tidal Power Steering Group had been established in 2008 to investigate how the Island might best exploit tidal power.

An initial report had been submitted to the Planning and Environment Minister in December 2008, and further work had been commissioned.

Mark thanked both Deputy Duhamel and Dr. Magris for an interesting discussion. It was agreed that J-CAN would probably want to comment on the energy white paper when it was published at the beginning of next year, and would also look out for the draft transport policy that was scheduled for publication in September 2009.

3. ‘The Age of Stupid’:

The group noted the arrangements for the screening of ‘The Age of Stupid’, which was to be held on 29th July at St. James Church. The organiser had agreed that J-CAN could have a stand at the event.

4. J-CAN film evening:

The meeting discussed films for screening at the J-CAN film evening planned for the autumn, and confirmed that it would be showing ‘Man with the Seasons’, together with a selection of the following –

The Story of Stuff

Wake Up. Freak Out

Farms for the Future

In Transition

A final selection of films would be agreed at the next meeting, and consideration would also be given to organising a separate J-CAN screening of ‘The Age of Stupid’.

The lecture theatre at the Jersey Museum had been investigated as a possible venue for a film evening, but the charge of £400 per session was felt to be prohibitive. As an alternative, Jeremy agreed to check the terms of hire of the main hall at Hautlieu School.

5. Public survey:

The meeting discussed the arrangements for the distribution of the survey that had been prepared by Stephen Le Quesne, and noted that Stephen had suggested this could be done in partnership with the Jersey Evening Post, and perhaps also with one of more of the lifestyle magazines. The group agreed to this suggestion, and proposed that Nick Palmer be invited to contact the Jersey Evening Post and ‘The Isle’ magazine on J-CAN’s behalf. The launch of the survey in the JEP could perhaps be accompanied by a feature article on peak oil, climate change, and the Jersey Climate Action Network (Jeremy to contact Nick).

6. Grass Roots Music Festival:

The organisers of the ‘Grass Roots’ music festival on 1st August had kindly agreed that J-CAN could have a stand free of charge at the event. The meeting discussed the arrangements for the stand, which would include a range of membership and information leaflets, together with copies of the public survey, and possibly also a petition relating to the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

7. Funding of environmental initiatives:

Mark reported that the J-CAN response to the public consultation paper on the introduction of environmental taxes had been submitted to the Economic Development Department.

8. Bottled water:

Mark commented on a couple of recent developments in this area, and said that he would do some more research and report back at the next meeting.

9. Newsletter:

Mark was aiming to produce the next edition of the newsletter in August, and would welcome any articles for inclusion.

10. Date of next meeting:

It was noted that the next meeting would be held at 8.00 p.m. on Tuesday 25th August in the Frances Le Sueur Centre, St. Ouen’s Bay.

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