Net Zero Wales - our reaction

Published: 29 Oct 2021

Welsh Government published their plan for reducing climate-damaging emissions in Wales over the next five years (2021-5) on 28 October 2021 - read our response.
Picture of Haf Elgar
Haf Elgar, Director of Friends of the Earth Cymru

Responding to the Net Zero Wales plan, Haf Elgar, Director of Friends of the Earth Cymru, said:

"Published in the week before the Glasgow Climate Talks, there's much in this plan to give us hope.

"The sense of urgency is to be welcomed. The plan emphasises only 'having a decade of action' on the climate emergency – in fact, the science shows that we’ve only got the next couple of years to get changes in place to cut our emissions and avoid catastrophic climate change. And this change must be done in a fair and just way for people, communities and nature.

"Much of this plan is a pulling together of existing policies. But it's good to see further commitments in key sectors such as transport, waste, homes and industry. For instance  a higher target for active travel and more public transport measures, a target for no biodegradable waste to go to landfill by 2025, and strategies to follow for developing a Welsh timber industry, heating our homes and a green skills action plan.

"But there are missed opportunities too – for example, to ensure that public pension funds no longer invest in fossil fuels, and to end the north-south flight subsidy.

"Also, the plan doesn't address the issue of how we reduce the environment impact of our own consumption. Because, as well as the emissions from what we produce in Wales, we must have a plan for reducing the impact of what we import and use in Wales as well, for example food, fashion and building materials. We have a global responsibility not only to get to net zero as soon as possible but also to reduce our impact on the rest of the world.

"It is also worth remembering that significant areas of emissions such as industry, energy and power are also reliant on action or funding from the UK Government, which will be a big challenge in the coming years."

"Welsh Government acknowledge that this plan in itself isn’t enough, that it’s a snapshot in time and we will all need to do more. We hope that Ministers will be going to the Glasgow climate talks to learn from others from across the world about what more we can do. And that they will be learning from the great projects happening in communities across Wales, and listening to the thousands of voices all willing to get involved and play our part in getting to net zero as quickly as we can."

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