Wales pledges green growth to deliver jobs and competitiveness

23 June 2014

LONDON: Minister for Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies AM has today launched Wales’s roadmap for sustainable development at a green business event at the Mansion House, London.

The Green Growth Wales: Investing in the Future prospectus was unveiled at a forum organized by Natural Resources Wales, a new Government sponsored body which aims to unlock the potential of Wales' low carbon economy. The organization, which is an amalgamation of the Countryside Council for Wales, the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission, has a budget of £180 million and is committed to supporting green business in the region.

Valued at approximately £8 billion, Wales’s environment is a strong asset to the domestic economy, the organization affirms. Similarly, the burgeoning green economy generated £5.5 billion for the wider Welsh economy in 2011-12.

Peter Matthews, Chair of Natural Resources Wales, in opening proceedings stated that “the environment and economy can work together”. He described the new organization as an “enabler” for sustainable development, and one which is committed to providing advice to business on environmental issues. Mr. Matthews stressed that Wales was an ideal location for implementing a green strategy, noting that it is “small enough to make it manageable, but big enough to make it meaningful”.

Practical insight into the role Natural Resources Wales plays in fostering Wales’s low carbon innovation was then provided by the CEO of Tidal Lagoon Plc, Mark Shorrock. The company harnesses the region’s abundent natural water resources to generate electricity which reduces energy import dependence, while also supporting domestic employment.

Minister Alun Davies used his keynote address to remind the audience the acting on climate change is “no longer a soft argument, with soft costs and soft consequences”. He recognized that any new economic model needs to be predicated on the sustainable use of natural resources, stating that “business as usual will not provide security in the future”.

“Green growth will create an environment that delivers opportunities, jobs and international competitiveness and I am determined that Wales is right at the centre of this,” the Minister affirmed.

Anne-Sophie Doernbrack, States and Regions Manager at The Climate Group who attended the launch, commented: “With its Green Growth program, Wales is leading the way in successfully combining stewardship of its natural resources with an innovative low carbon business sector. As a valued member of The Climate Group States and Regions Alliance, Wales is demonstrating how a prosperous, low carbon future for all is becoming reality.”

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