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

May 2nd, 2009 by Jeremy Harris

Jersey Climate Action Network (J-CAN) met at the Frances Le Sueur Centre, Les Mielles, St Ouen, Jersey on 28 April 2009. Francis Binney, Mark Forskitt, Stephen Harewood, Jeremy Harris, Nigel Jones, Stephen Le Quesne, Jo McAllister, Joy Thomson and Anna Wimberley attended the meeting.

Francis Binney reported on Earth Hour on 28th March, which was reasonably successful in drawing attention to the issues of peak oil and climate change. The group agreed it would support the event again in 12 months time. In the meantime J-CAN will consider ways of highlighting examples of wasteful energy use, e.g. office lights left on overnight, and street lighting between 3.00-6.00 a.m. (one option in the latter case being simply to turn off alternate lights).

J-CAN will invite Dr. Andrew Casebow to Jersey to give a talk on his publication ‘Planet Guernsey’ and its implications for those living in the Channel Islands. Ideally his visit will coincide with Environment Week from 8th to the 12th June with the 9th June being the preferred date for his presentation.

Mark Forskitt drew attention to the shortcomings of the draft Jersey States Strategic Plan in dealing with issues of sustainability, climate change, and peak oil at the Scrutiny Sub-Panel on Migration and Population on 27th April. J-CAN will publish an article on the draft Strategic Plan on their website.

The meeting approved the draft transport policy statement that had been circulated by Francis Binney. The document will be added to the J-CAN website.

There have been encouraging transportation developments in recent weeks:

• Jersey Bio Fuels offers bio-fuel as an alternative for diesel-powered vehicles (contact: Nick Glover – tel. 07797 799707)

Jersey Electricity Company was offering free trials of electric cars, with a view to introducing them in the Island from 2010 onwards (contact: tel. 01534 505460)

Transport and Technical Services was launching a ‘Travel Together’ website to promote car sharing, with support from the Sustainable Business Forum. It is hoped that at least 3,000 people will make use of this service, thereby significantly reducing the volume of traffic and road congestion.

Mark Forskitt will contact Nick Palmer about recycling initiatives to see if he is interested in coordinating this area of the group’s work.

J-CAN would like to organise a screening of ‘The Age of Stupid’ possibly at the Arts Centre. This film may be followed with a screening of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’.

J-CAN may survey public attitudes to peak oil and climate change. This can be done through the J-CAN website and supplemented by on-street surveys. Repeat surveys could be organised in future years to provide a point of comparison.

Regarding allotments, Stephen Le Quesne has contacted the National Trust. The Trust has expressed support in principle to the proposed creation of more allotments in Jersey. Jeremy Harris will contact Brian Adair to see if the newly-formed allotments group would like to follow this up with the Trust, e.g. by establishing whether it owns land that can be made available for allotments.

The meeting discussed the U.N. Climate Change conference in Copenhagen in December 2009, where representatives from 190 countries will meet to discuss a new international agreement to follow on from the Kyoto Protocol. J-CAN plans to make this key event the focus of its work during the autumn. A representative from J-CAN or another Jersey voluntary or community organisation should attend the event and report on it.

J-CAN has a new website Nigel Jones produced a green and yellow logo for the website which was approved at the meeting. The logo will feature on the website and in J-CAN correspondence. The website includes a facility that allows committee members to upload articles and information directly. Committee members should contact Nigel Jones if they would like to produce material for the website or material can be sent to Nigel for inclusion on the site.

J-CAN wishes to be a network for interested groups. Committee members are asked to contact any relevant organisations of which they are members to see if they would like to be linked to or featured on the J-CAN website.

Mark Forskitt will coordinate the first issue of the J-CAN newsletter, which will be prepared and circulated in the next couple of weeks.

J-CAN has not yet built up funds to support its programme of activities. A request for voluntary subscriptions/donations will be included in the newsletter. Jeremy Harris will make an application to the Ecology Fund to see if there are funds to support J-CAN in its early stages.

Joy Thomson said that the Women’s Institute is organising an evening on ‘Sisters on the Planet’ where they will be looking at how climate change is affecting women in different countries. The event will be held at 7.45 p.m. on 5th June 2009 at the Princess Royal Pavilion, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Admission is by ticket only – members will be welcome to attend.

The States of Jersey Environment Department has published a report ‘The Turning Point’, which examines the impact of climate change on Jersey. The department has offered copies of the report to J-CAN. Jeremy Harris will obtain three or four copies for distribution at the next meeting.

J-CAN aims to vary its meetings between the Frances Le Sueur Centre and a town venue, i.e. to be more accessible to those who live in the east of the island. The next meeting will take place at 8.00 p.m. on Tuesday 26th May (venue to be confirmed).

J-CAN may meet once a fortnight and this proposal will be considered at the next meeting.

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