We must all be part of the solution and pledge to combat climate change, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths has urged in a rallying call at a climate change conference at City Hall today.
First Minister Mark Drakeford has echoed her calls for collective action and outlined what the Welsh Government has done after declaring a climate emergency.
Extreme endurance athlete and former Welsh rugby player Richard Parks is set to speak at the conference about the changes to the environment he has seen during his travels around the world and the importance of teamwork when trying to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges.
The aim of the inaugural annual conference, which is being held as part of a commitment in the 'Prosperity for All: A Low Carbon Wales' plan published earlier this year, is to respond to the climate emergency and bring people together.
ITV weather presenter Ruth Wignall will be compering the event on the day, which will be the starting point towards the run up to the global United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP 26) in Glasgow in 2020 and an ambitious 'All Wales Delivery Plan' in 2021.
Organisations attending the conference are being asked to pledge how they will do their bit to combat climate change and join the collective response to the climate emergency.
For every attendee at the conference a tree will also be planted in Mbale, Eastern Uganda, as part of the Welsh Government’s Wales for Africa programme.
Farmer Nimrod Wambette, from Mbale, will speak at the conference about how his home region is already feeling the impacts of climate change. He will explain how the work he does through the programme is helping him and his neighbours not only adapt to climate change but to improve their livelihoods.
Representatives from Extinction Rebellion will be attending to share some of their ideas about how we should be responding to the climate emergency
8 things we’re doing to tackle the climate emergency in Wales:
- setting ambitious targets to cut carbon emissions
- making it easier for people to use their car less
- banning some single use plastics
- tackling the nature emergency by creating a national forest
- investing in the circular economy
- more electric vehicle charging points
- establishing world-leading renewable industries
- promising to keep the conversation going
Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said:
Wales may be a small nation, but we have a big ambition to be part of the solution in tackling climate change and ensuring we protect our environment for generations to come. I want to take a strong message to Glasgow next year, showing how Wales is ready to play its part and calling on others to act with us.
We are immensely proud to be the first parliament to have declared a climate emergency, but this is just the first step and we need everyone to play their part and join the collective response.
Tackling climate change and species extinction are not issues which can be left to individuals or to the free market alone. They require collective action and the government has a central role in making that possible
This is why we’re holding this conference and urging everyone – including businesses, public sector, communities and young people - to pledge to take action to tackle climate change in whatever way they can.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
We are determined that Wales should become a nation powered by renewable energy sources, as we strive to reduce emissions and hit our decarbonisation targets.
We have been at the forefront of the green revolution – investing in wind, wave and water energy sources – and we look forward to further pursuing clean energy in the future.
I hope this conference brings everyone across the sector together, so we can share learning ahead of the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP 26) next year and the publication of our All Wales Delivery Plan in 2021.
Extreme endurance athlete and former Welsh rugby player Richard Parks said:
From Antarctica to here in Wales, I have undertaken expeditions across the globe.
Having experienced first-hand the impact climate change is having on our world, now is a critical time to protect our planet for our children.
I'm proud of the leading role our Senedd is playing in tackling climate change, but our future demands we all do our bit before it’s too late. I'm hopeful because we have always punched above our weight here in Wales and I'm excited to be working with the Welsh Government in the run up to the UN’s conference in Glasgow.