A decade to turn things around
This is the warning we are giving to Assembly Members to ensure they take urgent and direct action on climate change. The world is already hitting record-breaking temperatures and the poorest communities are being affected the most. The devastating decline in biodiversity is set to wipe out a million species. Our oceans are choking in plastic and our children are breathing toxic air. The science is clear, and Wales is feeling the impact.
We met with Assembly Members on Wednesday 26 February 2020 to urge the political response in Wales to climate change to be stronger and faster.
Recent research named Cardiff as one of the world’s most at risk cities globally from global warming. And Wales’ consumption of natural resources if far beyond what its population size can justify: Wales exceeds safe limits for the consumption of carbon dioxide by 455%.
The latest IPCC report makes it clear that rapid, transformational action in the next decade is crucial. Wales’ recent declaration of a climate emergency must be matched with an appropriate response.
This year the 2015 Paris Agreement comes into force and the UK prepares to host COP26 in Glasgow in November, the biggest conference since the Paris Agreement; and Welsh Government comes to the end of its first carbon budgeting period (2016-20) under the Environment Act 2016 and will be developing its low carbon plan for 2021-25.
What are we asking of Wales?
- that it acts in its domestic policy to do its fair share in the global picture to achieve equitable and rapid emissions reductions, both domestic and consumption
- acts to ensure that wellbeing, sustainability and principles of global equity are at the forefront of its international policy.
Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, attended the conference and spoke about the importance of urgent climate action and how Wales can make real progress in 2020. She said:
I know that members of SCC coalition in Wales share the belief with this Welsh Government that in the face of the climate emergency the whole of the UK must move as swiftly and decisively as possible to net zero emissions.
Many of the levers that affect the rate of emissions in Wales are held by the UK Government, so we are committed to work with you, and others, to lobby the UK Government to make the changes that we know are needed to drive an even more rapid action
Working collectively in this way is essential if we are to have the type of profound changes that the next stage of our journey requires as we achieve net zero.
We have to show people that not only is our response to the climate emergency a matter of social and global responsibility is in line with our values, we have to show people that Wales will be more prosperous, more equal and more healthier and with cleaner land air and water.
The AMS were lobbied to do everything in their power to maximise action for our climate, nature and people, in Wales and globally.
The following were suggested next steps:
Call for immediate regulation towards net zero by 2030 by ending Wales’ contribution to climate change: rapidly put in place ambitious policies to slash emissions now to get us on track to end net zero within this decade; by implementing the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act.
Call for a scaling up of investment to tackle the climate emergency: ensure Wales is spending at least 2% of GDP (in line with the Futu
re Generations Commissioner’s 10 point plan) per year for climate action, starting immediately; ensure Wales introduces Carbon Impact Assessments of the fiscal budget and spending decisions across the public sector.
Do all you can in the run up to COP26 in Glasgow to increase momentum towards net zero: engage with Stop Climate Chaos Cymru and communities in the low carbon development plans; call on Welsh government to engage with sectors on how they will deliver the low carbon plan 2021-25; call on Welsh government to convene civil society in the run up to COP; convene a meeting in your constituency or region ahead of COP.
Share your pledge to work towards achieving net zero at pace in 2020 on social media: #thetimeisnow @SCCymru