Friends of the Earth Cymru launch Wales Climate Action Plan
Friends of the Earth Cymru have launched a Climate Action Plan for Wales which calls for a green and fair recovery for people and communities.
The plan’s recommendations include:
- prioritising vulnerable communities
- investing in a green economy to create job opportunities
- transforming the transport system
- legislating to clean our air.
Friends of the Earth Cymru also recommend that Wales should follow New Zealand’s example and replace Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the measure of progress and focus instead on living standards and wellbeing.
Haf Elgar, Director, Friends of the Earth Cymru, said
“Wales is at a critical crossroads in its history and needs to address multiple emergencies right now – COVID-19 recovery, the climate and ecological emergencies and ongoing inequalities in our nation. This Climate Action Plan looks at what Wales can do to address these multiple emergencies and improve living standards for people and the planet.
“Quite rightly, Wales is proud of the Well-being of Future Generations Act 3, which is making a long-lasting, positive change to current and future generations, and it will be needed more than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“But we must do more to make our economy and society work for people and planet, and that’s why it’s time to take the next step and use wellbeing rather than GDP to measure progress. There is so much we can learn from New Zealand and we should develop a Living Standards Framework for Wales.”4
Other recommendations include creating green job opportunities and eradicating fuel poverty. The Institute for Welsh Affairs has identified how Wales could produce all the energy it needs from renewables by 2035, creating thousands of jobs. Investing in areas which will have a positive impact on our environment such as cycling and public transport, nature restoration and home efficiency could significantly add to this. Fixing the two-thirds of Welsh homes which are poorly insulated will not only create jobs in every part of the country but will also bring much needed health benefits.
Wales should prioritise investment and resources into protecting our most vulnerable communities, whether that’s vulnerability to the type of flooding seen earlier this year, to the heatwaves which are happening more frequently, or those most at risk from COVID-19.
Keeping the nation’s lungs and hearts healthy is vital in the context of coronavirus. Friends of the Earth Cymru is also calling for A Clean Air Act for Wales as soon as possible for the sake of our health and to reduce climate emissions.5
Another key recommendation is to guarantee that those without a car are not left behind, by introducing service standards to improve public transport, and transforming the nation’s walking and cycling infrastructure, to combat the climate crisis.6
Friends of the Earth Cymru call for Wales to be a shining example, once again, by putting the environment, sustainability and fairness at the heart of our economy and COVID-19 recovery plan.