The Climate Change Transformation Team's mission is to ensure the Isle of Man meets it net zero goals by 2050. Their current programme consists of two main phases:
- Phase One Action Plan
- Phase Two Action Plan, essentially our first statutory five year plan, which will come into force in April 2022.
The Phase One Action Plan
This consists of 60 actions across ten different work streams, which include:
- Setting up the Climate Change Programme
- Government leading the way
- Energy generation
- Our homes
- Carbon sequestration*
- Business and industry
- Public engagement and awareness
- The Climate Change Bill
- Financing the mitigation and ensuring a just transition.
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions and various lockdowns, work on delivering the First Phase Climate Change Action Plan commenced in earnest in September 2020, when the Climate Change Transformation Team were officially appointed within the Cabinet Office.
The Climate Change Transformation Team has been working closely with various Governments departments, stakeholder groups and the wider community to deliver the Climate Change Action Plan; and the last few months have seen real progress on the Island’s journey to net zero.
Please find below the current progress update.
Phase 1:60 actions across ten work streams
Phase One Update
The Team’s overarching project highlights since September 2020 have been categorised into themes below and summarised accordingly.
- The successful progression of the Climate Change Act through the legislative branches. This included the embedding of our net zero goal in law and establishing a clear framework for climate action planning and accountability for delivery.
- The Climate Change Act requires a Climate Change Plan to be in operation at all times from 1 April 2022; a draft Climate Change Plan, covering the five year period from 2022 to 2027, has been published and underwent public consultation in August 2021.
- The 2021/22 budget allocation of an additional £10 million in funding to help deliver tangible climate actions to reduce emissions and increase natural carbon sequestration (storage).
2. Understanding our emissions
- Reviewed and improved the emissions data, working with the UK’s data assessment contractor to improve understanding of the sources of emissions and removals in the Isle of Man.
- Introduced a prioritisation methodology to facilitate the principal appraisal of potential projects on the basis of their net costs per unit of reduction of CO2 emissions. The Team are also increasingly taking account of the social and economic implications within the costs and benefits calculation.
3. Emissions reduction categories
- The delivery of future energy scenarios for the Island to understand how we will reach our target of 75% renewable energy by 2035 and ultimately 100% by 2050. The scenarios revolve around the energy trilemma; security of supply, renewable generation and low cost to consumers.
- Launching and completing the PIN process for 20MW of on-Island low carbon generation. 41 diverse applications were received and six were invited to interview. This clarified the need for a strategy on the future of energy generation in the Isle of Man.
- Commencing work on a renewable heating strategy to help create a realistic roadmap to help achieve the decarbonisation of heating systems; which account for a significant proportion of our greenhouse gas emissions on the Island.
Heating homes and commercial buildings
- The development of a revised Green Living Grant, which will support up to 1,200 home owners in retrofitting their homes to make them more energy efficient and thus increase their overall energy ratings. This will include the installation of low carbon heating systems. This is predicted to save around 3,000t CO2/year.
- Liaising with Government estate managers to identify opportunities for renewable electricity and heating installations as and when buildings are undergoing remedial works or plans are being made for capital projects (for example the replacement of roofs to incorporate solar photovoltaic panels, also known as solar PV).
- Working with University College Isle of Man (UCM) and the construction industry on identifying the skills needed to ensure near net zero housing. This will involve establishing courses to upskill contractors in this area.
- The Department of Infrastructure (DoI) have purchased, and are now operating six hybrid buses within the Island’s public transport network.
- Establishing ‘20 minute communities’; trials are being prepared to provide local Government hubs across the Island where residents can access a full range of Government services in one space.
4. Emissions removal categories
Carbon capture via natural environment
- The planting of 70,000 trees at Meary Veg. This new woodland area will boost carbon capture and create a new amenity for Islanders to connect with nature. Once established, this will sequester around 100t CO2 per year.
- An initial peat restoration project has commenced with the first 1,000 acres of restoration underway. This will transform some of the most degraded areas of peat on the Island and will enable us to add back to one of our most important carbon sinks.
- A working group from across Government is looking to commission a comprehensive Land Management Plan. This plan will identify the key opportunities and risks around land management for carbon sequestration and emissions reduction. This work will ensure that increasing our natural carbon capture is carried out in a manner that maximises carbon sequestration, while providing wider benefits for our ecosystem.
- Currently at the early stages of creating a local offsetting scheme, whereby residents and businesses can offset their emissions via local nature-based sequestration schemes.
Ocean-based climate solutions (blue carbon**)
- Work on a marine carbon strategy to maximise blue carbon (the carbon stored in marine and coastal ecosystems) is underway and builds on our network of ten Marine Nature Reserves and inshore fisheries management zones. Blue carbon is an area where the Island could become a global leader in innovative marine management.
5. Public engagement
- The formation of the Citizens’ Forum, a focus group representative of the Manx public, was created to inform research and policy regarding Climate Change issues.
- Working with Behavioural Change specialists to capture consumer insights. The insights work included interviews and focus groups and performing secondary research to inform the Change and Engagement Strategy. This important work will ensure everyone in the Isle of Man recognises the implications of climate change, can fully understand and contribute to the Island’s response, embrace their role in our transition to net zero and are galvanised to take specific concrete actions that can deliver emissions reductions.
*Sequestration - Carbon sequestration is the process of capturing, removing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide. It is one method of reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; its goal to reduce global climate change.
**Blue carbon - the carbon stored in coastal and marine ecosystems. It is estimated that Manx waters can capture up to 27% of the Island’s annual emissions.