11 Nov How will Climate Change affect Guernsey?
Food and Essentials
Climate change will bring more frequent, more extreme storms. As an island, Guernsey is dependent on both forms of transport to bring in essential supplies such as food. When the boats and the planes can’t get in and out, then the shelves the shops will be empty more often. We are not a big enough island to support ourselves with locally grown food.
Flooding and Sea Level Rise
We already have flooding when the high tide coincides with storms. As our polar regions lose their land ice, the sea levels will rise. As an area with some of the highest tides in the world, the low lying areas to the north of the island are vulnerable. We are having to make decisions now as to whether the sea walls will be fixed and maintained. These decisions will be even more pertinent and pressing in the future.
Flora and fauna
We have some unique flora and fauna on the island. With changing average temperatures, droughts and increased rain, there will be winners and losers in nature. We are already seeing some unusual sea life such as tuna visiting our shores.
What are the main contributors to carbon emissions on Guernsey?
We have 89,000 cars on the island with a population of 63,000 (2020). That is more than one car per person. We are an island 12 miles by 5 miles with a cheap and fairly regular bus service around the island. It must be possible to get more people out of cars. Traffic also contributes to other emissions such as nitrogen oxides and particulate pollution.
Guernsey people don’t really have much choice but to travel by boat and plane. Aurigny and Blue islands have stated that they are offsetting which means that they pay for someone else to make carbon reduction measures to match the amount of carbon that their planes give out and they count it against their carbon footprint.
Houses with poor insulation and damp are not energy efficient. Whilst most of our electricity that comes down the cable is from green sources, we still run our diesel generators to make up the short fall. Renewable energy is something that needs looking at in the future. A possible off shore wind farm is being discussed. Tidal, wave, and wind are all renewable energies of the future that would fit Guernsey.
Food waste in particular contributes for climate change. It has been estimated that each family of Guernsey wastes over £800 of food each year.
Guernsey food waste is sorted sent off island to be anerobically digested to make biogas and electricity and also compost. Other waste is sorted and sent to Sweden where black bin waste is incinerated to give electricity. The landfill is now full and stopped taking waste a while ago.
Guernsey has one of the best recycling rates in the UK. 75% of waste is recycled. Well done Guernsey.
What can you do to help?
Try not to go by car when you travel
Turn your heating down by 1 degree
Insulate your home
Turn off your vampire devices
Cut down on food waste – buy what you need , and don’t be tempted by BOGOF
Reduce, reuse, recycle
Sustainability swaps (google it)
Have a look at Eco Advent blog posts on this website.