Jane Davidson, Minister for the Environment, Sustainability and Housing
As set out in the Climate Change Strategy for Wales, the Welsh Assembly Government has a leadership role in tackling climate change. We need to take visible action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change, in order to inspire others to do the same.
We were one of the first governments in the UK to sign up the whole of its administrative estate to the 10:10 commitment. Our aim was to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of our estate by 10% in a year. Our 10:10 action year began in July 2010 last year and will end on 30 June 2011.
I am delighted that we have already almost achieved this target. In the first six months of our action year (July – December 2010) we reduced emissions by 1,564 tonnes which represents 90% of the total target for the year. This means we are likely to exceed our target by the end of our 10:10 action year.
Actual greenhouse gas emission performance data from electricity, fossil fuels and business travel for the first six months of the 10:10 action year (July – December 2010) shows a 19% decrease compared to the same period in 2009 (the baseline year). This includes a 13% decrease in emissions from electricity, 23% decrease in emissions from gas usage and a 36% decrease in emissions from business travel.
However successful we are in reducing emissions, there will always be some emissions that cannot be reduced due to restrictions associated with current technologies and infrastructure.
From April 2011, the Assembly Government will have a Carbon Investment Scheme which will levy a charge on departments for each journey made by air travel, by Ministerial fleet travel and by hire car travel. These charges will apply to Ministers and officials.
The Scheme reflects a commitment in the Ministerial Code that was made in 2007. The Department for Environment and Sustainability will provide funds to cover the emissions from all departments for the past four years (2007-11), which will amount to approximately £45,000. It is anticipated that the Scheme will generate a maximum of £10,000 per year, with this decreasing year on year as the carbon footprint of the organisation reduces.
The funds will be invested into innovative emission reduction projects in sub-Saharan Africa associated with our Wales for Africa programme. The Scheme will be managed by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.