The Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths has further strengthened the Welsh Government’s response to climate change by publishing a new climate change adaptation plan for Wales, Prosperity for All: A Climate Conscious Wales.
The plan sets out how we will protect our environment and adapt our homes, communities, businesses and infrastructure to deal with the impact of climate change through a range of actions including:
- building defences to guard against flooding and coastal erosion
- protecting water supplies from drought
- reducing the use of pesticides
- growing more woodland to improve air quality, reduce erosion and protect soil, slow down floods and support our ecosystems.
- creating more open spaces like parks, playing fields, allotments, private gardens, grasslands, ponds, woodland creating an environment that is good for people’s wellbeing as well as the climate.
- the creation of 25,000 more energy efficient homes by 2021.
Prosperity for All: A Climate Conscious Wales 2020-2025 continues the momentum generated by the launch of Prosperity for All: A Low Carbon Wales by the First Minister of Wales, the declaration of a climate change emergency earlier this year and the first Wales Climate Change Conference.
It will be launched on Climate Change Action Day and 2 days ahead of the 2019 meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Madrid.
Climate change is possibly the biggest challenge for Wales, and for the world. Some climate change is natural, it should happen over very long periods of time. But human activity is speeding it up. Changes that would normally take many thousands of years are happening in decades.
Climate change reports say we can expect wetter winters, warmer summers, more storms, more extreme weather and rising sea levels.
The plan outlines actions we are taking over the next 5 years to address the areas of greatest risk identified by the UK Committee on Climate Change.
This new plan will benefit from the addition of a monitoring and evaluation framework for the first time, to ensure the commitments detailed in the plan are implemented and have the desired impact for Wales.
Lesley Griffiths said,
Our sustainable development and environmental legislation is already recognised as world leading and now we must use that legislation to set a new pace of change.
To complement steps we are taking to decarbonise the economy of Wales, we also need to respond to the impacts of climate change we already see.
We have already invested significantly in climate change adaptation and preparing for the future, through a wide range of policies, programmes and interventions and this plan further demonstrates our ambition to deliver a more prosperous, equal and greener nation.
Delivering our plan will be a challenge, but we must all adapt and we must all commit to protect our nation for current and future generations. Success will mean Wales is a climate conscious nation, aware of the risks facing us, whilst being prepared and ready to adapt to the impacts before they occur.