The Footprint Trust, set up in 2002 to reduce the IW’s ‘ecological footprint,’ has welcomes the Eco-Isle vision put forward by the Council’s CEO Joe Duckworth in the Guardian newspaper.
The Island’s ‘ecological footprint’ exceeds the average sustainable ‘earth share’,” said the report from Best Foot Forward in 1999. “If everyone on the planet consumed as much as the average Isle of Wight resident we would require over two and a half planets to sustainably support the global resource, or the population would need to reduce consumption by 56%.” It stated.
The Trust said that the Council was unlikely to meet its target of producing ten per cent of electricity needs from renewables by 2010 due to the recent rejection of onshore wind turbines.
However, it welcomed the Council’s commitment to other forms of renewables particularly tidal stream and biomass crops. The Trust does however point out that all forms of energy production present environmental and other problems. It stated that renewable energy along with investment in energy efficiency would lead to a reduction of the Island’s footprint.
They pointed out that all forms of energy production have issues which need to be considered.
“Tidal turbines might affect sea creatures such as dolphins or coastal habitats in general. This concern has been highlighted by the Ulster Wildlife Trust. Biomass crops could only produce around 5% of our fuel needs thus we would need a wide range of other measures.”
“We feel that energy conservation must also be highlighted – a high proportion of Island homes do not have adequate insulation. Cavity wall and loft insulation must be promoted and subsidised. If we cut the amount of energy we all use, by becoming more efficient, we can reach the ten per cent target all the easier”
Said Ray Harrington-Vail of the Footprint Trust.