Minister for Climate Change travel costs (2) (FOI)
Minister for Climate Change travel costs (2) (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 24 February 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
In respect of the Freedom of Information response about the amount of government money that was used to send the Climate and Energy Minister to two conferences, I was interested by the second one ‘Effective Development Cooperation Summit’ when she bought her own ticket. I read about the conference and did some research and I would like to know why it was relevant and why we paid for her accommodation and expenses?
Climate and energy are not really mentioned in the conference document, which was about international development aid:
2022 Effective Development Co-operation Summit Declaration.pdf (effective co-operation.org)
However I see from her website and a Google search that the Minister has recently conducted consulting work for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and ‘United Nations Development Programme’ (conference organisers) on one of the topics of the conference - private companies funding international development. As you can see, this topic features much more in the conference documents.
I also found the Minister announced way before the election in 2022 that her private business work would be presented at the conference.
Environment hustings answers from Hilary Jeune.pdf (durrell.org)
So I have some questions:
How exactly was the conference important to the work of the Environment department?
Could the Environment department explain what capacity she was invited? Was there an official invitation? When did it arrive?
If the conference was important to the work of the Environment department why did the Minister buy her own air ticket? If it was not important, why did the Government pay for her accommodation and expenses?
Was the Minister of Development also invited and did he attend as well? If so please detail the costs and class of travel.
When was the Energy Minister last paid for private work that was discussed at the conference, and / or for the conference organisers?
Does the Government confirm that using our money to send a Minister to an event related to their private work - as announced even before they became Minister - is consistent with the Ministerial Code?
Climate diplomacy is an important part of the carbon neutral roadmap and discussing climate finance and ensuring its effectiveness and the importance of the impact of decisions by developed countries on developing countries is an area highlighted for policy development.
The conference also supported Jersey’s role in international development and the importance of Jersey’s ODA (Overseas Development Aid) being administered under the principles of the Busan development effectiveness principles.
Deputy Jeune was invited in her capacity as the Government of Jersey’s Minister for Energy and Climate Change. The invitation was from the host of the conference, the Government of Switzerland, with a letter of invitation sent to Deputy Jeune from Ambassador Thomas Gass, the Ambassador Special Envoy for Development Effectiveness and Co-Chair of the Global Partnership. The letter was received on 8th November 2022.
The Deputy was already in Switzerland and had brought the plane ticket before being invited to the conference. The plane ticket was paid for on the 5th October 2022.
No, the Minister of Development was not invited.
The last invoice paid was 30th June. No part of any consultancy agreement with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development was for her to attend the conference in a consultancy role.
This information is not held by the Government of Jersey. The Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 requires a scheduled public authority to provide information held. The authority is not required to publish opinion or reasoning, only information held. Article 3 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies.
Article 3 - Meaning of “information held by a public authority”
For the purposes of this Law, information is held by a public authority if –
(a) it is held by the authority, otherwise than on behalf of another person; or
(b) it is held by another person on behalf of the authority.