Skip to content

Reducing Welsh emissions

Related Links

The Strategy encourages everyone to take action and change what they do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
This charter allows organisations to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable development.

We want Wales to reduce its greenhouse gases emissions by 3% every year.

We also want Wales to achieve at least a 40% reduction by 2020 compared to figures from 1990.

Our Climate Change Strategy for Wales and associated delivery plan confirms where we will focus our action and the policies and programmes that will help us meet the targets. It also recognises how actions taken by people, communities and organisations across Wales will help us reach the target. It also highlights key UK and EU policies and wider contributions.

Actions to reduce Wales’ emissions include:

  • encouraging behaviour change to a lower carbon way of living,
  • encouraging organisations in Wales to sign up to our Sustainable Development Charter,
  • reducing energy and resource consumption,
  • increasing energy and resource efficiency,
  • encouraging small scale low carbon energy generation,
  • supporting transport investment that encourages a shift to low carbon types of transport,
  • seeking to influence UK decisions where they are relevant to emission reduction in Wales.

3% reduction every year

This target will be measured against a baseline of average emissions between 2006 and 2010.

The focus of our work is on how energy is used, rather than how it is generated. For further information on energy generation please see 'Energy Wales: A low carbon transition'.

The 3% target includes all ‘direct’ greenhouse gas emissions in Wales except those from heavy industry and power generation. Those installations are covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) (external link).

Sector targets

We have set target ranges for the minimum level of emission reduction we would expect to see from each sector by 2020.

The targets are set in terms of metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) which is the standard measurement of greenhouse gases.

  • Public sector reduced to a maximum of 0.83 MtCO2e, against a baseline of 1.13 MtCO2e,
  • Business emissions (that fall within Wales’ 3% target) reduced to between 8.33 and 10.30 MtCO2e, against a baseline of 11.24 MtCO2e, 
  • Transport emissions reduced to between 5.21 and 5.78 MtCO2e, against a baseline of 7.14 MtCO2e,
  • Agriculture and land use emissions reduced to between 4.07 and 4.97 MtCO2e, against a baseline of 5.57 MtCO2e,
  • Residential emissions reduced to between 5.46 and 6.04 MtCO2e, against a baseline of 7.48 MtCO2e,
  • Waste emissions reduced to between 0.64 and 0.95 MtCO2e, against a baseline of 1.30 MtCO2e.

What if Wales had a 6% or 9% target?

We commissioned some research from the Tyndall Centre to show the action we would need to take in Wales to achieve 3%, 6% and 9% emission reduction.