During the week when new legally binding climate change targets have been announced for Wales, latest figures show global emissions reached a record high in 2018, and leaders are meeting in Poland for COP24 I thought I should revisit on the first report of the Climate Change Commission for Wales in 2012 one year on from the launch of the Welsh Government Climate Change Strategy. You can find the full report with its 30+ recommendations and take a view on progress over the
last 6 years at Climate Change Commission for Wales First Annual Report 2012.
My 2012 blog introducing the report
The Commission’s first report reviews progress one year on from the launch of the Welsh Government’s climate change strategy, which set out the means by which we are to reduce the causes of climate change and adapt to its impacts. It is still early days for assessing the impact of the strategy not least as the headline target for reducing emissions by 3% per year in areas of devolved competence is set against a baseline of average emissions over 2006-2010 and runs from 2011 inwards.
Nonetheless the report is an important assessment of progress on the early actions which are so essential in the long term reduction and adaptation work.
It is the Commission’s view that we the Welsh Government has set a clear and strong direction of travel for climate change action in Wales and there are many exciting and inspirational examples of organisations, communities and individuals making changes
However while the Commission agrees that we are on the right path, progress has been good at the small and pilot level but replication and increased ambition is now needed. The Welsh Government and its partners are now facing the hard work of sustaining the political and organisational will to ensure climate change a priority for action over the long term. The greatest challenges lie ahead and the report contains over 30 recommendations designed to support this process with a key area of focus being the Commission’s concern that Wales makes the most of the opportunities in a transition to a low carbon economy, which will have many benefits beyond tackling climate change – with secure long term energy supplies, better air quality, more comfortable homes and opportunities for business to thrive producing low carbon products and services.
The recommendations are focused on Welsh Government which has a key leadership responsibility, but only around one third of emission reductions are expected to come from policies solely under the control of Welsh Government and concerted actions are needed from all parts of society. The report sets out the key role of the Commission in this process and plans for strengthening engagement with the key sectors, communities and the wider public
As chair of the Commission I would like to thank the hard work of Commission members over the past year and the contribution of expert evidence from key partners who have made it clear that there is a need for proportionate and early action in both reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to a changing climate to ensure an economy, society and environment which are fit for the future.