Achieving climate justice in a globally responsible Wales

We need to see ambitious action towards achieving climate justice here in Wales and across the world. The climate crisis is a justice crisis; with gendered, racial and geographic dimensions which affect millions of global communities.

On 16 May, Stop Climate Chaos Cymru hosted an event at The Pierhead, sponsored by Delyth Jewell, to present a new climate justice briefing for Senedd members and Welsh Government.  

The chair, Sarah Rees (Oxfam Cymru) welcomed Julie James, Minister for Climate Change and colleagues from the coalition member organisations. Pledges were made by Julie James, Delyth Jewell, Jenny Rathbone, Jane Dodds, Peredur Owen Griffiths, Huw Irranca-Davies and John Griffiths.   

The briefing tackled ten areas: 

System change not climate change:  The poorest, most vulnerable communities, people of colour and women are the most affected by climate change.  Our nation must navigate the transition to a net zero economy in a just and globally responsible way.  Listening to those most affected by climate change and recognizing their values and traditional knowledge is paramount to achieving sustainable development solutions which serve all people and the planet. 

Wales must commit to achieving net zero by 2035 in line with the ambition behind the co-operation agreement. Welsh Government should establish an independent body to advise on a just transition to a net zero economy.

Small nation, global impact: We must continue to act with greater depth and speed towards the goal of Net Zero by removing barriers to decarbonisation and delivering accelerated practical action. Co-ordinated area-based plans to drive society-wide decarbonisation are crucial to Wales achieving its carbon emissions reduction targets.

Welsh Government to lead the nation in the UN Race to Zero initiative, coordinating planning and implementation of emissions reduction across different administrative levels. 

No justice, no peace: As part of our commitment to become an Anti-Racist Wales, we must acknowledge our nation’s historical legacy of colonialism.  This needs to be acknowledged and included as a key part of any conversation about climate justice and a just transition.

Welsh Government must lead the people of Wales in building a better understanding of our colonialist past and the role of systematic racism in the current climate and ecological crises.

Champion loss and damage: Climate changes affects all of us, but affect some people more than others. Communities that have contributed the least to the crisis are already paying the highest price and are bearing the brunt of climate breakdown.  Early industrialised nations must face up to their historic responsibilities as the main polluters by supporting communities affected by climate change. 

Welsh Government should lobby the UK Government to be a champion for a Loss and Damage Fund and advocate for a Loss and Damage tax on profits of fossil fuel companies registered in the UK.

Champion human rights: Human rights are central to the campaign for climate justice.  The right to protest is a fundamental cornerstone of any democratic society and has been the driver of progress for human liberty and freedom.

Welsh Government must champion human rights, using devolved competencies to strengthen human rights in Wales and beyond.

Make our money work for climate justice: Communities suffer human rights abuses, environmental destruction and the impacts of climate change because of the actions of multi-national companies. 

Welsh Government and the Public Sector in Wales must take steps to ensure businesses in their supply chains respect human rights and the environment.

Make our procurement work for climate justice: The commodities Wales imports and consumes are devastating the world’s forests, wildlife and indigenous communities. 

All procurement authorities should implement existing Welsh Government commitments to being a Fairtrade Nation, a Deforestation-Free Nation and a Slavery-Free Nation.

Decarbonise pension funds:  Forests are home to 80% of the world’s life on land, yet Welsh Public Sector pension funds are fuelling climate change and deforestation.  They must stop investing in climate-damaging companies and sectors. 

We call on the eight Local Authority Pension Funds in Wales and the Wales Pension Partnership to work together with the public sector in Wales to agree on a plan to decarbonise their pension fund portfolio by 2035.

Work to lessen our global footprint:  According to WWF Cymru, an area equivalent to 40% of the area of Wales is used overseas to grow a handful of commodities imported into Wales. 

We want Welsh Government and the Public Sector in Wales to eliminate deforestation, habitat loss and social exploitation from Wales’ supply chains.

Include global citizenship in education: Climate education needs to include a broader understanding of global citizenship, so learners can understand the factors that interlink with climate such as inequality and poverty.  We want people to move away from being passive consumers to active citizens of Wales and the world.

We would like all public bodies in Wales to embed comprehensive global citizenship competencies (knowledge, skills and values) in life-long learning.


The Stop Climate Chaos Cymru coalition member organisations are:  CAFOD, Centre for Alternative Technology, Christian Aid Wales, Friends of the Earth, NUS Cymru, Oxfam Cymru, RSPB Cymru, Size of Wales, Sustrans Cymru, Tearfund Cymru, Wales Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trust Wales, The WI, WWF Cymru, WCIA with support from Climate Cymru.