Investment to tackle the climate and nature emergency will be at the heart of the Welsh Government’s budget, published later today.
Targeted, green investment of more than £160m revenue and a total investment of £1.8bn capital will be committed over the next three years.
Responding to both the climate and nature emergency it will be spent in a range of areas including the national forest, biodiversity, active travel, the circular economy, renewable energy, flooding, and decarbonising housing.
Wales has a legacy of over 2,500 coal tips pre-dating devolution and due to the growing impacts of climate change these tips are now exposed to increased risks of slippage. The Welsh Government will also provide funding to support essential maintenance works and to develop a future reclamation programme, with an additional £4.5m and total capital investment of £44.4m. It follows the UK Government’s decision not to provide funding of its own in October’s Spending Review.
In April 2019 Wales was the first country in the world to declare a climate emergency and in October this year the Welsh Government published ‘Net Zero Wales’ - setting the foundations to make Wales net zero by 2050.
Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Local Government, said:
“Today’s budget will shape the Wales we want to hand over to future generations. Tackling the climate and nature emergency will require a collective effort and as a Government we know it’s vital we step up and lead the way.
“That’s why we’re providing significant investment in a wide range of areas, so Wales can cut emissions and be a greener nation.
“The effects of the climate and nature emergency are with us now. Intensifying rainfall and increasing temperatures have added to the urgency of providing funding to make coal tips safer. The UK Government failed to act but our funding will provide some reassurance to the communities.
“This budget will leave Wales in a better place to manage the effects of the climate and nature emergency that are already affecting so many communities in Wales, and will only affect more in the future. We can never lose sight of the importance of protecting our planet.”