Thank you to all the candidates who completed the survey.
The puffin ratings below are based on their answers to the multiple choice questions we posed to them across three key issues, with four green puffins indicating the best answer down to 1 green puffin indicating the least environmentally friendly option. We did not factor the candidates' free form text answers (visible by clicking 'Read More' to get to their candidate page) into the ratings.
Candidates who did not engage with the survey received zero green puffins.
The States questions also contain informative environmental responses for some candidates:
Which statement best aligns to your views on the climate crisis?
We should reach net zero carbon emissions as early as possible (and no later than 2040), and take this opportunity to transform Guernsey into a climate leader and innovator.
Please let us know more about your perspective on the climate crisis in your own words.
Climate change is very real, and going to be one of the biggest crises in our lifetime. Covid has the potential to allow for excuses to be made as to why we can’t reach our target. We can’t let Covid de-rail us. ‘Hofstaders law’ says even if you plan to a date you will always be late, even if you take this into account! We have to try achieving this as early as we can so that we do actually tackle this before it’s too late!
If the temperature of our sea rises it can displace and change our water’s fauna and flora. This could have overreaching effects on our fishing, marine, tourism and even shipping industry. The cost could be huge. Just because we can’t quantify that cost now doesn’t mean it isn’t there. We need to be proactive and forward-thinking.
If our sea level increases then we will have the problem of having to bolster our already inadequate and poorly maintained sea defences, and in a few years we would be there saying “oh, wish we thought about that before when we were maintaining our defences a few years ago”. Again, we need to be proactive and forward-thinking and carefully consider the consequences of our actions.
As of 2014 we consumed approximately 400 million kWh of power - which equates to 62 wind turbines. Can you imagine 60 wind turbines off the coast of guernsey? Perhaps not. A diversity of energy production is what we need. The 2017 report on windfarms showed that the cost of electricity would be more expensive than our current prices. We need to increase our efficiency and thereby decrease consumption. Introducing more energy efficient machines/habits etc would help in this regard.
Which statement best aligns to your views on the challenges being faced by local biodiversity?
I believe urgent action is needed to save Guernsey's biodiversity, and the States should immediately invest more funding to protect it, introducing new legislation as appropriate.
Please let us know more about your views on the challenges faced by local biodiversity in your own words.
It is safe to say the situation is dire and only getting worse. In the search for more profit the human race often neglects to consider the impact of certain activities. If only we could look at the longer term future…we’d see that there’s a bigger issue - simply chasing profit leads to huge inefficiencies and ultimately adversely affects longer term profits.
There is a balance to be had, and we must find it. We need sustainability. Biodiversity is such a large topic- these are definite challenges.
Primary challenges (things we need to prevent/stop):
Influencers (things we need to change/control):
Human population growth
Reduced resource efficiency
Lack of understanding and education of islanders
We have to look at each of these in their own right, find the problems, find the solutions and not dawdle- this is urgent. We need to prioritise finding the balance. The next deputies really need to be mindful of the implications of introducing legislation on biodiversity and sustainability of our island, but also legislate against current destructive practices.
Transitioning to a greener economy could result in major, potentially unequal, social and economic impacts. Which statement best reflects your view of how these should be managed?
We can do more than just avoid unfairness - we can and should use climate action as an opportunity to build a better, fairer society, for example, through green job creation and progressive funding solutions.
Please let us know more about your perspective on climate equity and transitioning to a greener economy in your own words.
Because of the expense of transitioning we are at risk of creating an unfair divide in society. It is the responsibility of all of us, but we should all share the impact and benefits equally. Solutions need to be found to encourage adoption of a greener economy. If it involves a need for people with green skills- then we need to help facilitate this for people who are from our island rather than external employees, unless there is no alternative.
Imagine if everyone who could afford to install a wind turbine, an array of solar panels, a water treatment system did and reduce their reliance on the grid by 90%. That’s great, a move in the right direction. Their bills reduce hugely. What about those who cannot afford to? Those who are renting- even if they wanted to install them, they cannot. They would be stuck paying for an ever-increasing electricity/gas price and thus going deeper and deeper into poverty (including energy poverty). But what can be done? Should the landlord pay to reduce their tenants’ bills? That’s a large ask.
There are solutions out there. We can incentivise. One idea I have- If a landlord invested themselves in providing renewables to their house and it reduced the bills by 40% one could allow the landlord to recoup that difference on an ongoing basis until the initial investment is returned, allowing for a return on investment to incentivise. The tenant would continue to pay the same amount for their bills as they would always have done, but the difference in saving is returned to the landlord to cover the initial cost. It will eventually reduce the bills of the tenant, it was no cost to the states, and leads to an immediate reduction in emissions- win,win,win!
Another idea would be to legislate that each new building must be powered by a percentage from a renewable source (whilst improving other aspects too). This would be irrespective of any type of accommodation and would inevitably filter through to the rental market. The cost of retrospective replacement to greener technologies is far greater than when introducing at the time of build.
THE NEXT 4 YEARS
Where the environment is concerned, what outcomes do you think the States should achieve in the next four years, in your own words?
Ban single use plastic
Follow the Strategy for Nature
Follow the Biodiversity Strategy
Commit to encouraging innovation and change
Legislation for new buildings to have a minimum % renewable energy source
Commit to CO2-free new buildings by 2050 (earlier if possible)
Commit to public information campaigns for environment and biodiversity
Restrict new buildings from being constructed on undeveloped land unless absolutely needed.
Consider and help protect the environment in every decision
Release funding for biodiversity control initiatives.