'Decade of action' needed to tackle climate crisis and achieve a net zero Cymru, says Welsh Govt


Wind turbine (Image: Gwalia)

First Minister Mark Drakeford and Climate Change Minister Julie James today called for a "decade of action" to tackle the climate change crisis as they published 'Net Zero Wales' – the next phase in the "journey towards a greener, stronger, fairer Wales".


The plan focuses on the Welsh Government’s second carbon budget (2021-2025) but also looks beyond towards net zero by 2050 so that, by then, the amount of greenhouse gases Cymru adds to the atmosphere would no longer be more than it takes out.


The plan contains more than 120 government policies and proposals, covering every area from peatland restoration to active travel, and from green skills to renewable energy.


It shows how the Welsh Government aims to build 20,000 new low carbon homes and increase community tree planting through 30 new woodlands, legislating to abolish the use of more commonly littered, single use plastics and helping to develop green skills in businesses.


By March 2023 all public sector organisations will report their emissions and publish their plans to achieve Net Zero, with the aim of collectively achieving Net Zero across the Welsh public sector by 2030.


Formally launching the plan at an event at the Solar Heat Energy Demonstrator in Margam, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The advice from the Climate Change Committee is clear, this must be a decade of action for Wales.


“We need to make more progress in the next ten years than we have in the last 30 years, this will be difficult but we will do it by working together.


“The challenges faced in coming decades cannot be under-estimated, and we must all work together to realise the opportunities available.


“In this plan, we also call on the UK Government to take the action which is needed to unlock a green future in Wales.


“While the UK cannot reach its targets without Welsh action, we cannot reach our ambition without the UK Government playing its fair part.”


“We believe that by working together and taking collective action we can deliver a stronger, fairer and greener Wales for future generations.”


'Net Zero Wales' contains 123 government policies and proposals, including:

  • Building 20,000 new low carbon social homes for rent

  • Investing in travel options that encourage people to use public transport more and support walking and cycling.

  • Increasing tree planting – including how Welsh Government will support communities to create 30 new woodlands and connect habitat areas.

  • Legislating to abolish the use of more commonly littered, single use plastics.

  • Introducing an extended producer responsibility scheme to incentivise waste reduction by businesses

  • Ensuring wide scale peatland restoration and sustainable management through our National Peatland Policy Ambition

  • Supporting innovation in new renewable energy technology

  • Planning for a national energy grid that is fit for a renewable future, working with network operators

  • Developing green skills in businesses - Upskilling and training employees to take advantage of the potential economic opportunities for Cymru through decarbonisation, such as in manufacturing and housing.

  • Working with the public sector so that by March 2023 all public sector organisations will report their emissions and publish their plans to achieve Net Zero, with the aim of collectively achieving Net Zero across the Welsh public sector by 2030.