The Environment (Wales) Act 2016 requires the Welsh Government to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in Wales to net zero by the year 2050, with a system of interim emissions targets and ‘carbon budgets’. Welsh Ministers need to prepare and publish a report for each budgetary period setting out their policies and proposals for meeting the carbon budget for that period.
The new Next Zero Wales Plan fulfils this duty for Carbon Budget 2 (2021-25) and responds to the latest advice from the Climate Change Committee. In December 2020, the Committee was able, for the first time, to set out a credible and affordable path for Wales to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, thereby making our contribution to the United Nations Paris Agreement. As well as charting our path to net zero, the Plan is focused on creating a greener, stronger, fairer Wales.
About the launch event
The new Net Zero Wales Plan was launched on 28 October at an event held at the Solar Heat Energy Demonstrator building near Port Talbot, with speakers and the media attending in person and streamed live to a public audience.
Hosted by ITV Wales presenter, Ruth Dodsworth, the launch featured a panel including the First Minister of Wales, Rt. Hon Mark Drakeford MS; Minister for Climate Change Julie James MS; Professor Dave Worsley, Vice President (Innovation) at Swansea University; and Poppy Stowell-Evans Youth Climate Ambassador for Wales.
Ministers introduced a five year plan of action, explained its role in shaping the next stage of our pathway to net zero by 2050 and emphasised the importance of working together to help deliver our decade of climate action.
The panel took questions on the Net Zero Wales Plan from journalists and heard from a ‘virtual panel’ of stakeholders on how they and their organisations are taking action. It was an opportunity for businesses, employees, the public sector, third sector and communities to learn more about the changes we will all need to make if we are to achieve our environmental, economic and social aims, as well as the opportunities and risks the changes present.
Ministers also outlined the messages they took to COP26, around the importance of the next decade, the need to learn from international best practice and grasping the opportunity to use the recovery from the Covid pandemic to look for innovative solutions that bring wider benefits, at the same time as tackling climate change.
The live stream has now ended but video content can be accessed via the On-demand section of this site. The event concluded with a tour of some exhibits at the Solar Heat Energy Demonstrator Building, which is part of Swansea University’s SPECIFIC project.
SPECIFIC is a UK innovation and knowledge centre, conducting research into how ‘active buildings’ can generate, store and release their own heat and electricity from solar energy.