Isle of Man Government’s progress report shows climate action has progressed despite pandemic

The Isle of Man Government has published a progress report on phase one of the climate change action plan, in addition to releasing plans that prioritise emission reducing initiatives that help boost the economy and support society as part of the post COVID-19 economic recovery.

A draft of the Isle of Man’s Climate Change Bill has also been released, which has been under development throughout the pandemic. This legislation will be essential in ensuring the Isle of Man cuts its emissions in line with international agreements, and will commit this government and future administrations to working to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Minister Boot told B365: ‘The drafting of the Climate Change Bill represents a very significant step forward for the Isle of Man’s commitment to reducing our emissions and reaching net zero by 2050. We are laying a draft of the Bill before Tynwald this week and we will be launching a full public consultation. It is really important that as many people as possible have an input.

‘I am very happy with the progress we have made over the 14 months since the climate emergency was acknowledged. Despite the global pandemic we have managed to progress on many of our climate commitments set out and approved in January this year.

‘While it is true some things were slowed or halted by the pandemic, ironically, the way our community has had to adapt over recent months has highlighted opportunities that will lead to rapid progress on some emissions-reduction activities.

‘As such, the plan proposes a new approach to climate action that really captures the progress we’ve inadvertently made during lockdown, whilst also reflecting the new economic, health, social and environmental realities we all face in the midst of the global pandemic.’

He added: ‘We have a real chance to build upon our renewed appreciation for our Island community, and the value of living in the world’s only entire jurisdiction to be designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Building on the ethos of Biosphere we can build back better and create a thriving low carbon economy. Working together, we can bring forward initiatives that support businesses and individuals, improve our health and wellbeing, and save money while reducing emissions.’

Actions that have been prioritised in the new report include; improving energy efficiency in buildings, creating green jobs and a skilled workforce to deliver net zero, further develop low carbon travel options and renewable energy initiatives, promote natural carbon capture and supporting a better work life balance and well-being for everyone. The actions will be initiated over the next 12 months, along with the other phase 1 actions. These measures combined with the introduction of the Climate Change Bill will ensure the transition to a zero carbon society.