An interesting discussion yesterday at the Cross party Group on Sustainable Energy chaired by Llyr Gruffyd AM at the Pierhead Building in Cardiff Bay dealt with the issue of the climate emergency and how Wales can take forward its ambitious plans to meet the 'Net Zero' targets as we approach the National Assembly for Wales elections next year.
As of November 2019, 1,191 jurisdictions in 24 countries representing over 290 million citizens, including Welsh Government, had declared a climate emergency.
Richard Murphy, co-founder of the Green New Deal Group explained how the plan could deliver rapid decarbonisation of almost every aspect of the UK economy... and that it can all be funded through a structural transformation of national and international financial systems, and major changes to taxation. Alongside this, a sustained programme to invest in and deploy energy conservation and renewable energies alongside transformation of the UK's transport infrastructure, the way we manage land to grow the food we need and how we work will deliver the changes required to decarbonise the economy.
The link between carbon reduction and the economy is vital - without aligning economic growth int he UK - and the rest of the world - with the green agenda, 'Net Zero' will fail. Thankfully there is a clear shift in the public perception - which filters through to industry - on the importance of a carbon neutral future, but there is a long way to go.
Attendees also heard from Paul Allen, project coordinator for Zero Carbon Britain at the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT). Paul explained how work on CAT's latest report - Zero Carbon Britain: Rising to the Climate Emergency showed that a zero carbon future was possible. As shown in these clips from the Report, on and offshore wind needs to be a central focus as we move away from fossil fuels toward a greener energy generation infrastructure.
Given the extensive natural renewable sources the UK has at its disposal, it is vital to harness those assets in a sustainable manner if we are to meet our obligations to net zero. No doubt this will be a very hot topic for candidates as we approach the elections in Wales next year...