The Paris Agreement, an international treaty on climate change, has been formally extended to Guernsey following Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq and Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez’s attendance at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP28.
The extension of the Paris Agreement to Guernsey reasserts our commitment to be part of the global action to pursue efforts to limit global temperature rises to 1.5C, and limit greenhouse gas emissions from human activity to net zero, which is the level that balances emissions being taken out of the atmosphere (for example by trees, soils, and oceans).
The extension means that Guernsey’s emissions will be reported under the UK’s Nationally Determined Contribution, which contains information on targets, policies and measures for reducing national emissions. However, Guernsey will continue to be able to set its own targets and levels of ambition. Guernsey will be expected to continue to report on its emissions, maintain policies and will need to project expected emissions.
The UK’s extension of its ratification of the Paris Agreement follows the in-principle agreement of the extension to Guernsey that was announced at COP26 in November 2021.
Since that time, much research has been undertaken to understand how that Agreement is being implemented by other small island jurisdictions and how its obligations can be implemented in Guernsey.
The extension follows a formal extension request from the government of Guernsey to the UK Government.
Deputy Le Tocq said: “Agreeing the extension of the UK’s ratification of the Paris Agreement to Guernsey has been one of the main objectives of our Government Work Plan, so it’s really good news to be able to get such an important international agreement across the line.
“Extending this agreement further highlights our commitment to complying with international standards and our contribution to supporting global efforts to combat climate change; such commitments are especially important when negotiating Guernsey’s participation in international trade agreements.”
Deputy de Sausmarez, President of the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure, said: “We may be a small island, but we, along with every other jurisdiction, have a role to play to take action on climate change. The extension to Guernsey of the Paris Agreement is an important step that formally recognises that role, and we have wasted no time in working towards it. In 2020, we agreed our Climate Change policy with the aim of being carbon neutral by 2050 and with a target of reducing emissions by 57% on 1990 levels by 2030. These objectives have informed policy decisions across our Committee’s mandate, including on energy, housing, transport and biodiversity.
“A significant step we took this year was the States’ agreement of our Electricity Strategy which will take us up to 2050. With a focus on additional interconnection and locally generated solar energy and wind energy, we’ve laid the foundations for a much more environmentally and economically sustainable future for the island.”