Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths has today declared a climate emergency in Wales ahead of a meeting with UK and Scottish Ministers in Cardiff.
The declaration sends a clear signal that the Welsh Government will not allow the process of leaving the EU to detract from the challenge of climate change, which threatens our health, economy, infrastructure and our natural environment.
As the UK, Scottish and Welsh ministers with responsibility for the environment meet in Cardiff today, the announcement draws attention to the magnitude and significance of the latest evidence from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and highlights the recent climate protests across the UK.
The latest advice on from the Welsh Government’s statutory advisory body the UK Committee on Climate Change on how meeting the goals in the Paris Agreement might affect Wales’ long-term climate change legislative targets is due at the end of the week.
Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths, said:
"I believe we have the determination and ingenuity in Wales to deliver a low carbon economy at the same time as making our society fairer and healthier.
"We hope that the declaration by Welsh Government today can help to trigger a wave of action at home and internationally. From our own communities, businesses and organisations to parliaments and governments around the world.
“Tackling climate change is not an issue which can be left to individuals or to the free market. It requires collective action and the government has a central role to making that collective action possible.
“No nation in the world has yet fully grasped this challenge but just as Wales played a leading role in the first industrial revolution, I believe Wales can provide an example to others of what it means to achieve environmental growth.
“Our sustainable development and environmental legislation is already recognised as world leading and now we must use that legislation to set a new pace of change."
The Welsh Government has committed to achieving a carbon neutral public sector by 2030 and to coordinating action to help other areas of the economy to make a decisive shift away from fossil fuels, involving academia, industry and the third sector. Last month, it published Prosperity for All: A Low Carbon Wales, which sets out 100 policies and proposals to meet the 2020 carbon emissions targets.
The plan for 2021-26 is already being prepared and will go further and faster. Welsh Government is also currently reviewing farmer support post Brexit with public goods element and updating its Nature Recovery Action Plan to drive urgent action to increase the resilience of our ecosystems in order to reverse the decline in habitats and species.