Future Generations Commissioner for Wales publishes ten point plan to fund Wales’ climate emergency
Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales:
“In previous and current budgets the Welsh Government spend has been around 1% on decarbonisation which is nowhere near enough to fund the challenges that a climate emergency presents.
“Earlier this year the Welsh Government published A Low Carbon Wales plan that contains a 100 policies and proposals for decarbonisation but no detail on how these ambitious policies will be funded. This paper sets out where I think the government could allocate funds to get us on track to reach the targets set, and we need to be frank with public on how much this will cost.
“There now needs to be a cross-government commitment, this means the Minister for Economy and Transport will need to spend differently, the Minister for Housing and Local Government will need to allocate funds differently and every single one of us as individuals need to change the way we live and work and play our part in changing behaviours to reduce our carbon emissions whilst also supporting sustainable employment opportunities, improving our health, reinvigorating our communities and local economies.
“Investment in public transport across Wales has reduced over the past decade, if we reversed this and provided better, cheaper public transport it would lead to people getting out of their cars, people are living in fuel poverty which is not only bad for their health but also for the environment, so we need a major retrofitting programme to make our homes energy efficient.
“ We all have a moral responsibility to act now for current and future generations.”
This paper is a starting point for the government, experts and individual to discuss a long-term place in which I have identified ten areas where immediate investment needs to be prioritised to begin address the climate emergency.
The ten-point plan focuses on the following areas:
Transport – £240 million in next budget (2020-21) – greater investment in active travel, public transport and electric vehicle infrastructure.
Housing & Buildings – £330 million in next budget (2020-21) – greater investment in a national housing retrofit programme – focusing initially on homes living in fuel poverty and those in social ownership could cost up to £1 billion.
Renewable Energy – £200 million in next budget (2020-21) – IWA estimate that to develop an energy system that enables Wales to become 100% self-sufficient in renewable electricity by 2035 requires around £30 billion of investment over a 15-year period
Land use & nature-based solutions – £221 million in next budget (2020-21) – Radically increase tree cover over the next two decades – requiring investment of approximately £16 million per annum over the next 10 years. Support adoption of low carbon agricultural practices and re-thinking land-use practice – £300 million per annum is currently provided to support agriculture and rural development.
Other levers – Ensure decarbonisation is a key principle and driver for decision making within planning, public sector procurement contracts and pension fund investments supported by a programme to train a carbon-literate public sector.