SOME OF My Work so far...
I’m delighted that green finance is now so widely supported that it has become something of a manifesto buzzword: back in 2016, when I first suggested it to Gavin St Pier, the concept was pretty much unheard of here. I saw it as an opportunity in terms of our economic development and diversification. I successfully made the case for green finance to be embraced not just in terms of the green financial products our industry offers but also by the States as a systemic and strategic approach, so that we could position ourselves as a green and sustainable finance centre. I was instrumental in Guernsey joining the UN network Financial Centres for Sustainability, confirming our position among those at the forefront of this increasingly important and influential sector.
As someone who has campaigned for action on climate change for about 20 years, I was heavily involved in getting this policy onto the States’ agenda as well as shaping the policy itself. I’m glad to report that it was very strongly endorsed by the States Assembly - helped by a great show of support from the public too. It is a long and fairly technical policy but the next steps – setting into motion the Climate Change Action Plan – are what matter most.
Strategy for Nature
Our wildlife, habitats and ecosystems are under real pressure from development, climate change, invasive species and other key threats. This revised strategy (formerly the Biodiversity Strategy) sets out how we will make the case for funding the significant increase in work that needs to be done to protect, restore and enhance our natural environment. I’ve worked closely through the development of this strategy with the third sector organisations who deliver these vital services, so I understand why they are so impatient for action and adequate States support.
I successfully made the case for senior carers to be eligible for a long term employment permit under our Population Management Policy – a factor that had a significant positive effect on recruitment and retention of senior carers in this vitally important sector. Later, volunteering as a Covid-19 contact tracer, I saw first-hand the value of good, committed people in this role.
Sexual Offences Law
Working with others, I brought several successful amendments that help to strengthen and clarify our sexual offences law - a piece of legislation that was previously very out of date. The Committee for Home Affairs will be reporting back to the States early next year with an update on next steps.
Having worked closely with the Youth Commission, I introduced a requirement in the Future Guernsey Plan for policymakers to consider the impact of their decisions on both current and future generations, to help shape policy for the long term. It struck me, talking with young people, that some of the problems we are dealing with today are the legacy of decisions made by short-sighted policymakers when I was their age, which is why I thought an explicit requirement to think long term would be useful.
After a series of questions from me on the topic, ESG (environmental, social & governance) criteria have now been formally incorporated into the States’ investment principles, meaning we can have greater confidence that public money is being invested in an ethically responsible way, better aligned with our social and environmental values.
I brought a successful political petition on the need for the States to debate and decide the policy around next generation technology, which will be brought back before the end of the year in the context of a wider and long anticipated telecoms strategy. This will help the States make decisions around investment in our digital connectivity and infrastructure.