Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs
In March 2019, Welsh Government launched Prosperity for All: A Low Carbon Wales. This was our first statutory climate change mitigation plan, which set out 100 policies and proposals to decarbonise, enabling us to comply with our first carbon budget and create the foundations for further emission reduction. We also declared a climate emergency in April as a further demonstration of our commitment to tackling one of the greatest challenges facing current and future generations.
To complement steps we are taking to decarbonise the economy of Wales, we also need to respond to the impacts of climate change we already see, which pose a threat to ecosystems and our way of life. Climate change adaptation requires a clear understanding of where and when impacts are likely to fall so we can respond in the most effective and timely way. We must, therefore, collectively take a risk based approach to prioritise action which helps us to prepare and adapt to these changes before the full effects are felt. Doing so will ensure Wales continues to prosper and the most vulnerable in our society, who are more likely to feel the burden of climate change, are protected.
Our first adaptation plan formed part of our Climate Change Strategy 2010 and successfully set the foundations for adaptation in Wales, by building the evidence base, sharing good practice and showing early signs of mainstreaming adaptation through a community of practice.
Today we are publishing our new climate change adaptation plan for Wales, Prosperity for All: A Climate Conscious Wales, which represents the Welsh Government’s second statutory adaptation plan.
Our new plan sets out how we are taking action, over the next 5 years, to address the areas of greatest risk, as identified by the UK Committee on Climate Change in the most recent Climate Change Risk Assessment, as well as the research priorities required to better understand the impacts and ways of addressing the effects of climate change. Through this plan, the Welsh Government articulates how Wales will protect our ecosystems and adapt our homes, communities, businesses and infrastructure as we continue to respond to the evidence of the climate change risks for Wales.
We have already invested significantly in climate change adaptation and preparing for the future, through a wide range policies, programmes and interventions and this plan further demonstrates our ambition to deliver a more prosperous, equal and greener nation.
Delivering our plan will be a challenge, but we must all adapt and we must all commit to protect our nation for current and future generations. Success will mean Wales is a climate conscious nation, aware of the risks facing us, whilst being prepared and ready to adapt to the impacts before they occur.