Wales sets out its fight against climate change

8 October 2010

Wales’ fight against climate change will focus not only on driving down emissions but also on ensuring that the country is ready and able to cope with the consequences of a changing climate.

The Welsh Assembly Government’s Climate Change Strategy, launched today, sets out exactly how Wales will manage its fight against climate change and achieve its ambition of a 3% year on year reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The strategy, the first of its kind in the UK, was launched by First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones and Environment Minister Jane Davidson, at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth, Powys.

The strategy focuses very much on delivery and brings together Wales’ plans to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to the demands of its changing climate.

It is accompanied by two detailed delivery plans that set out exactly how the targets and aspirations will be achieved.

Speaking about the strategy, First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “There is no doubt that our climate is changing, and that science states the case that human behaviour is to blame for this change.

“If we are to successfully address this issue there is a need for urgent and sustained action across the globe.

“The strategy that we are launching today shows that Wales’ approach to tackling climate change is up there with the best, both in terms of targets and aspirations, and of how we will actually deliver.

“Yes the strategy is ambitious but the gravity of this issue means we must be ambitious in order to protect our planet for future generations.”

Environment Minister Jane Davidson said: “This strategy is about Wales delivering on its climate change ambitions.

“It includes detailed delivery plans that show the areas in which the Welsh Assembly Government will take action, both to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to help Wales adapt and become resilient to its changing climate.

“We know we cannot work alone on this. We must show leadership but the strategy highlights that people, communities and businesses across Wales have a critical part to play.

“Of course there are challenges ahead, in terms of technology, in terms of gaining public acceptance and in terms of delivering on the scale needed. But we must confront these challenges to protect the wellbeing of future generations here in Wales, and in many more vulnerable parts of the globe.”

The Ministers were joined by Steve Howard, leading climate change figure and CEO of the Climate Group. Speaking about the strategy, he said: “Wales’ Climate Change Strategy confirms the Assembly Government’s level of ambition and the actions it will take to deliver meaningful and sustained action on both emission reduction and adaptation.

“Wales is a true leader in The Climate Group’s States and Regions alliance and this strategy will be good for the people of Wales and good for the Environment.”

The Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales, John Harries said: “The scientific case that the climate is changing and that human activity is playing a significant role is clear. While some uncertainties remain on the precise scale and timing of global climate change, the scientific evidence demands urgent and sustained action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“At the same time, we must consider how best to manage the impacts of a changing climate. The Climate Change Strategy sets out the Assembly Government's road map for achieving this and for delivering its contribution to the global effort.”

The strategy commits the Welsh Assembly Government to achieving at least a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in Wales by 2020 against a 1990 baseline

It identifies a number of key areas in which the Assembly Government will focus its action. These include:

  • A comprehensive approach to behaviour change;
  • The consideration of climate change in all the Assembly Government’s decision making;
  • Delivering increased energy efficiency, making low carbon transport a reality and building the skills to ensure that Wales makes the most of the opportunities associated with a low carbon economy;
  • Ensuring that our approach to research and development, technology and skills helps Wales to gain maximum benefit from climate change business and research;
  • Creating a framework to help us adapt to climate change;
  • Using land use and spatial planning to help us move towards a low carbon economy.

It also identifies how emission reductions can be made within the transport, agriculture, waste, business, residential and public sectors.

You can access the full Climate Change Strategy for Wales at

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