Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change
I am pleased to publish a new public engagement strategy marking the beginning of a new national programme to support the transition towards a greener way of living. Climate Action Wales – Public Engagement Strategy (2023-26)’, is designed to make greener choices more affordable and more convenient and is driven by the guiding principle of leaving no-one behind.
It has been shaped by extensive engagement and consultation with national and regional delivery partners, people and communities most likely to be affected by climate change. A report summarising the outcomes from the consultation, and events held to discuss the strategy during Wales Climate Week 2022 is available here. As well as setting out how the programme will be delivered in collaboration with others, this strategy provides a springboard for a series of actions and commitments by the Welsh Government.
The strategy was developed in response to the commitment (Policy 16) in Net Zero Wales (our current emissions reduction plan) which highlighted that achieving Net Zero by 2050 will require greater involvement from the public to help Wales meet its emissions reduction targets. The new strategy was welcomed by the Climate Change Committee in its June 2023 Progress Report: Reducing Emissions in Wales, which recognises Wales is a step ahead of UK-level progress in this area.
The focus will be on helping us all make choices which can reduce carbon emissions, starting with using less, reusing, repairing and recycling more; reducing food waste, buying only what we need; reducing home energy use, and when we can, cycling and walking more.
Communications will also focus on messages in areas where we know the barriers to action are typically higher because of cost, convenience or availability. These include shopping sustainably, healthier eating and making sustainable food choices, adapting our homes for better energy efficiency, driving less, taking up active travel and using public transport or using an electric vehicle.
There will also be a focus on adapting our homes and communities to the impacts of climate change, tackling biodiversity loss, keeping resources and materials in use for as long as possible, promoting cleaner air, land and water quality, noise management, and promoting green education, skills and careers.
The programme will involve two aspects of public engagement:
- Engaging people in decision-making (including policy-making) about how to tackle climate change
- Engaging people in action necessary to tackle climate change through a new national campaign and website to be launched shortly.
A national communications campaign will provide messages to help counter misinformation and demonstrate how everyone and communities can be part of the solution to tackle climate change but this programme is not just about communications.
If we are to meet our emissions reductions targets, government, the public sector, and businesses must all take action. We must also work with people and communities to deliver green solutions about way we travel, heat our homes, our diets and consumption choices, and ensure we continue to deliver policies and infrastructure at pace to help the public make their own choices.
This new programme provides a focal point for taking the joined-up action we need to help everyone live more sustainable lives.
Not everyone has the same level of resources or opportunity to make green choices, so I am committed to ensuring we put the support where it is needed most to help realise our vision for a stronger, fairer and greener Wales.