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Islands Should Work Together To Combat Climate Change

As COP26 continues, environmental groups in Guernsey say Covid-19 shows that islands can pool knowledge and combine efforts.

The global conference in Glasgow has entered its second week with Barack Obama calling on world leaders to “step up now”, and criticising China and Russia for a “dangerous absence of urgency” on the climate crisis.

Closer to home local environmental groups want the Channel Islands to work together to ensure the right setting is created for islanders to achieve their personal targets.

Miranda Bane is the research lead for the Pollinator Project:

"The government has a role to play and asking individuals to make decisions for the collective good can only go so far. We cannot expect people to make some sacrifices when it comes to cost. For many the more eco-alternatives may be more expensive and we can't ask them to take on that burden."

Roland Gauvain the CEO of the Alderney Wildlife Trust says that as individuals we can take coordinated action with government:

"While we need to take direct action at home when it comes to the specifics of our own individual carbon footprint, we as islands also need to work collaboratively to try to achieve real gains. We've already seen a significant rise in sea levels, a big change in weather patterns.

Those are going to become stronger and have already had an impact on our coastlines, our infrastructure and our ability to travel and for to take action we need to know how to adapt our landscape and environment to become more robust.

One of the benefits, certainly within our own Bailiwick, of Covid-19 has been an increased level of communication between the island and our politicians. We do need to think locally and our local environment is the Channel Islands and we need to take action together."

Rollo de Saumarez from the Guernsey Chamber of Commerce Sustainable Business Initiative says companies have a huge role to play:

"At a top line level, the first thing that businesses need to do is to decide to act. So there needs to be a decision within the business that they are going to do something about this.

The second thing they need to do is make it at least one person's job, ideally it needs to be throughout the business. If it's not someone's job within the company then it just won't get done. 

There are loads of available resources online of how people have solved this, and in this space people are less competitive and more cooperative with each other, they want to share some of the findings they've had. The Sustainable Business Initiative has been set up to achieve that, to help train people and help them make decisions."

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