COP27: ‘No time to rest’, says Minister for Climate Change
Minister for Climate Change Julie James has told world leaders there is “no time to rest” as the UN Conference on Climate Change meets for the 27th time in Egypt.
Speaking at a Welsh Government press conference, the Minister said responding to the climate emergency is an opportunity to create new green jobs and to improve health and wellbeing by improving the environment we all live in.
She said: “Many of the issues we face are interlinked and can be addressed with integrated solutions.
“Home-grown renewable energy helps to lower our carbon emissions and creates green jobs, but it may also help to protect bill payers from the some of the current volatility in the gas and electricity markets, which is causing prices to spike at the moment.”
At last year’s COP26 in Glasgow, Wales joined the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance and called time on coal and fossil fuel extraction.
Last month, the Welsh Government announced plans to develop publicly-owned renewable energy developer, which will see profits re-invested in local communities in Wales to benefit the people in Wales.
Wales continues to support community-owned renewable energy projects and has does not support fracking and gas drilling.
Climate change is not something which is happening in the distant future – it is happening now. Between March and September, Wales received less than two thirds of the expected rainfall – the driest period on record.
The Chief Medical Officer for Wales has warned an increase in unusual weather events, such as extreme heat, cold and floods, is likely to disproportionately affect the most vulnerable people living in deprived areas and further exacerbate health inequalities.
Julie James said: “Our transition to net zero must have social justice at its heart and leave nobody behind. We must not shy away from what is needed over the next decade, which will shape the future of our country.
“Just as I’m asking all world leaders at COP27 not to rest when it comes to climate change, I want to ask everyone in Wales to be part of our journey to net zero.
“I want everyone to come together as one big team, to act on the climate and to build a better future for our country.”
Notes to editors
Today’s press conference marks a year since the Welsh Government launched its Net Zero strategy, which sets out more than 120 policies to help Wales reach its statutory target of net zero by 2050.
Action so far includes:
- A promise to build 20,000 low carbon social homes for rent as well as a retrofit programme for social homes that has seen the installation of insulation, solar panels and groundsource heat pumps
- Investment in innovative projects such as wallpaper that can heat a room, old nappies to resurface roads and mine water for heating schools and homes
- Three expert-led deep dives in trees, energy and biodiversity so as to rapidly inform and improve government policies
- Announced £62m to create net zero schools
- An ambitious plan to decarbonise the NHS
- £31m of EU funding for the Morlais renewable energy tidal project off Anglesey.
- £32m for farmers and landowners to help Wales plant 86 million trees by the end of the decade, and launched a Sustainable Farming strategy to support the sustainable production of food and boost biodiversity
- Announced every household in Wales can receive a free tree to plant as part of My Tree Our Forest, as well as the funding of 30 community woodlands
- Smashed current peatland restoration targets and raised the bar to triple its targets, so as to give nature a helping hand and help our greatest terrestrial carbon sinks to do their job
- Legislation that includes the Single Use Plastics Bill, the Clean Air Bill and the Agriculture Bill
- Upheld its world class recycling rates, in which Wales ranks third in the world for domestic recycling.