A comprehensive report from the Climate Change Committee suggests that Wales is not keeping pace with necessary measures to combat climate change.
The CCC, the UK’s independent advisor on tackling climate change, yesterday published Progress Report – Reducing Emissions in Wales.
The report highlights that emission reduction efforts within areas under the jurisdiction of Cardiff Bay have been progressing too slowly and that Wales would miss future goals without action to significantly speed up decarbonisation efforts across all areas of the economy.
To give a sense of the scale of the challenge, a 39% cut in emissions based on pre-pandemic levels is needed over the next five years to get back on track.
The Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, Derek Walker says the Climate Change Committee’s findings that Welsh Government is not on track to meet its climate emissions targets make ‘urgent’ reading.
“This is an urgent report calling for Welsh Government to work faster and smarter on the climate emergency – one of the biggest threats to our health, and detrimental to efforts towards a more equal Wales,” he said.
“The message reinforces my call on my first day in the job as Future Generations Commissioner, for transformational change – and reflects the disappointing big picture on decarbonisation, as reported in my office’s research that found Wales lacks a joined-up approach on areas such as spending, and our call for a long-term plan to decarbonise homes.
“The CCC report notes that while some positive steps have been taken in Wales, such as the decision to review all major road projects on environmental grounds, policy action is now needed in all sectors across the economy and action has to accelerate.
“I’ve been meeting with people across Wales who want tangible action to halt climate change and loss of our nature – just this week I heard from voices desperate for devolved community power and for people to be much more involved in solving problems.
“I urge Welsh Government to involve communities, build on the transformative local examples, such as Morriston Hospital’s solar farm, which projects energy savings of up to £1m, to increase our ambition nationally and ensure we have a liveable Wales for now and future generations.”
Chris Stark, the CCC’s chief executive warned of a worrying “gap” between ambition and delivery in Wales.
“In the past we might have talked about how Wales is one of the best places in the UK for recycling – we’ve tried to hand out the praise,” he said.
“But now when we look forward that’s not going to be enough.
“In those areas where they have the powers we’re just not seeing Welsh ministers put their shoulder to the wheel and put in place the policies that will achieve the legal targets.”
Undoubtedly, leadership within the Welsh Government is profoundly committed to environmental sustainability. However, this report serves as a poignant reminder that collective efforts need to be intensified to safeguard our planet.
The Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru commissioned an independent group to explore potential pathways to achieve Net Zero by 2035, which is well ahead of the current target date of 2050. The Net Zero Challenge Group started its work in January 2023 to examine how to increase Welsh Net Zero ambitions, while considering societal and economic impacts, mitigation of adverse effects and fair cost and benefit sharing.
To keep up to date with developments within the Green Economy in Wales visit – www.greeneconomy.wales