Channel Islands politicians branded 'completely delusional' for attending COP28

Deputies Kristina Moore and Jonathan Le Tocq are among the Channel Islands' representatives at COP28 in Dubai. Credit: X: @ChiefMinJsy / @letocq

Channel Islands politicians are facing criticism after flying over 5,500km to the COP28 UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai.

Deputies Jonathan Le Tocq and Lindsey de Sausmarez are representing Guernsey, while Deputies Kristina Moore and Jonathan Renouf - the Chief and Environment Ministers - are attending from Jersey.

All have defended their decision to attend the conference - saying they are promoting the islands' finance industries and how they can help fund carbon-reducing infrastructure projects such as wind farms.

Jersey's government insists that emissions generated by the delegation's return flights to Dubai will be offset through donations to “verified” green projects.

But one former government minister, ex-Senator Ben Shenton, described the trip as "completely delusional" and a “waste of money”.

He said: "In terms of population Jersey is slightly smaller than the town of Wakefield in Yorkshire.

“We are sending two Ministers plus back-up staff to the COP Summit in Dubai to join other influential world leaders. This is becoming beyond a joke.”

He told ITV News: “I think the message from most people is just get on with it and stop all this showboating and sort the problems we have over here.

"Jersey has got a massive financial industry that has the ability to fund major carbon-reducing infrastructure around the world.

"I've worked for the finance industry for 42 years, it's up to the private sector to go out and get business, it's not up to the government."

Climate Campaigner, Nigel Jones, added that politicians should "concentrate on problems at home first"

But Jersey’s External Relations Minister, Deputy Philip Ozouf, defended his colleagues. He said: “Small islands have a responsibility to deliver net zero too.

“The serious issues of climate change are affecting many small states. `We need to unite with them and support them."

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