Open letter to Assembly Members

Calling on Assembly Members to Re-Energise Wales

Today, on behalf of a broad group of signatories, Professor Emeritus Gareth Wyn Jones of Bangor University has written an open letter to all Assembly Members calling on them to rise to the enormous challenges posed by anthropogenic global warming. The letter calls for concrete policies to reduce our energy use and to develop our resources of renewable energy, and through this ‘re-energising’ our country.

The letter has been signed by academics and dozens of environmental and community groups. Assembly Members are challenged to prioritise energy use reduction in every policy, initiative and planning guidance and to promote the target of generating 100% of Wales’s energy from renewable resources, aiming for energy self-sufficiency by 2035.

Professor Emeritus Gareth Wyn Jones said, ‘The goal is to live better on less. Technology around energy is developing rapidly, renewable energy in particular. There are no longer technical barriers, but the lack of political and economic will is holding back progress. The technical barriers are surmountable, but the political and economic ones weigh heavily. The COP 21 Paris climate agreement of 2015, the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act of 2015 and the Environment (Wales) Act of 2016 make our moral, legal and practical obligations clear: to protect our young people (let alone future generations) in the face of this deepening crisis.’

The letter calls on every Assembly Member to commit to considering, supporting, facilitating and enacting policies that promote our social and economic wellbeing while reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Gareth Wyn Jones and the other signatories believe that Wales has the natural, human and technological resources to lead the way, and that now is the time to weave the principle into the fabric of the National Assembly of Wales.

 

Bangor University

Bangor

Dear Assembly Member,

We have a simple but vital message for you. We face a global crisis because of greenhouse gas emissions. The science is clear so please, no excuses, no denialism!

Our society is completely dependent on fossil fuels yet the scientific consensus and the direct experience of peoples around the world is that the consequences of the emissions from burning them are already disastrous and will in future be catastrophic. This crisis threatens the very fabric of civic and civilized society.

The COP 21 Paris climate agreement of 2015, the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act of 2015 and the Environment (Wales) Act of 2016 make our moral, legal and practical obligations clear: to protect our young people (let alone future generations) in the face of this deepening crisis, we must act now - you must act now!

There is a strategy that can meet this challenge and reinvigorate Wales in the process - it is to future-proof all policies, initiatives and planning guidance by making energy-use reduction and energy efficiency the priority, by making 100% renewable low emissions energy generation our target, and by maximising energy self-sufficiency by 2035.

The March 2016 Report of the National Assembly's Environmental and Sustainability Committee "A Smarter Energy Future for Wales" was a positive and vital step, but in omitting transport is incomplete.

We would draw your attention to a comprehensive renewable energy transition strategy called Re-Energising Wales, currently being planned out and fully costed by the Institute of Welsh Affairs. It's an ambitious and complex plan and it will touch virtually every aspect of our lives - but it IS POSSIBLE to implement.

The technical barriers are surmountable, but the political and economic ones weigh heavily. If we overcome these and reimagine our relationship with energy, it will bring countless economic, social and environmental benefits.

We have a unique opportunity available to us right now - interest rates are at record lows, the costs of renewables and attendant electricity storage and smart grid technologies continue to fall and, step by step, we are getting the necessary devolved powers to make it happen.

Climate Change is the elephant in the room and we believe in your hearts you know it. Maintaining the status quo is not an option and there is a clear path Wales should take to play our part in resolving the impasse.

You have just been given the responsibility to lead our country for the next five years and we call on you to live up to that responsibility. Coal, oil and gas must be phased out, bar some back-up generation linked to carbon capture and storage. Let us embark on a radical course of economic renewal - with renewable energy and energy efficiency at its heart.

We believe a bright future is possible for the Welsh people. Wales could be a leader in renewable and efficiency technologies and their implementation. The possibilities are limited only by our own imaginations.

Let's grasp the opportunity while we can!

Yours sincerely,

Professor Emeritus Gareth Wyn Jones et al

 

Signatories / Llofnodion

 

Professor Emeritus Gareth Wyn Jones, Bangor University

Professor James Intriligator, Professor of Innovation and Consumer Psychology, Bangor University

Dr Kelvin Mason, University of Liverpool, Climate Camp Cymru

Wyn Bowen Harries, Cyfarwyddwr, Cwmni Theatr Pendraw

Twm Elias, darlledwr, awdur, gwladwr

Professor Judy Hutchings, School of Psychology, Bangor University

Professor James Scourse, Professor of Marine Geology, Bangor University, and Director,

Climate Change Consortium of Wales

Professor Gareth Ffowc Roberts FLSW, Bangor University

 

Friends of the Earth Cymru

WWF Cymru

RSPB Cymru

Frack-Free Wales

RenewableUK Cymru

Community Energy Wales / Ynni Cymunedol Cymru

Cynnal Cymru

 

Abergavenny Transition Town

Awel Aman Tawe

Cardiff Against Fracking Everywhere

Community Energy in Pembrokeshire CIC

Cydweithfa Egni Co-op

Datblygiadau Egni Gwledig

Frack Free West Wales

Frack-Free Llantrisant

Friends of the Earth Abergavenny and Crickhowell

Friends of the Earth Barry and the Vale of Glamorgan

Friends of the Earth Swansea

Friends of the Earth Torfaen

Gower Power Co-op CIC

Hydrolite Ltd

Keep Your Fracking Hands Off Neath Port Talbot

Llanharan Anti-Frackers

Llantrithyd Villagers Against Drilling

PLAN Brecon

Robert Owen Community Banking

Rounded Developments Enterprises

Severn Wye Energy Agency

Sharenergy

Sustainable Wick Community Group

TGVHydro Ltd

The Environmental Network for Pembrokeshire

The Green Valleys (Wales) CIC

The Vale Says No! (Vale of Glamorgan)

Transition Bro Gwaun

Transition Monmouth

Ynni Padarn Peris

 

38 Degree petition: 527 signatures to date. This letter is based on the petition text.

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/energise-wales-move-to-100-renewable-energy-in-20-years/        

 

Share this page

Tumblr Facebook Twitter Email Addthis