Julie James, Minister for Climate Change
This summer we witnessed heat records around the world, on land and sea, being shattered. Climate Change is already affecting our lives and will continue to do so for years to come, even as we work to decarbonise our society and reduce carbon emissions. We can expect to see further sea level rise and coastal erosion, and extreme weather events such as storms, flooding, heatwaves and drought. These changes have implications for our health, businesses, infrastructure, public services, supply chains, nature and environment. It is therefore essential that we take steps to build resilience to the potential impacts of these changes, alongside emissions reduction, as part of a unified response to the climate emergency.
There is already a huge amount of work being done in Wales to address climate change impacts. Many of the Welsh Government’s current actions are set out in our national climate adaptation plan, Prosperity for All: A Climate Conscious Wales, and in the progress report we published in December 2022. However, we recognise that the levels of risk are increasing and more needs to be done.
The Climate Change Committee (CCC) has today published an independent report on progress and future priorities for climate change adaptation in Wales. I wish to thank the CCC for this report. The Welsh Government requested this assessment to help us to better understand the areas we need to focus on, to build resilience to the impacts of climate change in Wales. We are committed to responding to the risks and impacts resulting from climate change and this will be the focus of our new national climate resilience strategy, due to be published in autumn 2024.
We will be applying an updated, whole-system, outcomes-focussed approach to the new strategy, aligned to the CCC’s updated climate adaptation monitoring framework. The strategy will also take a ‘team Wales’ perspective, recognising the unique characteristics and roles of different people and organisations in delivering climate resilience. Following publication of the strategy, we will also work further with our public sector partners to develop guidance, monitoring and reporting on climate resilience across Wales.
It is only by working together that we can build resilience to the impacts of climate change that are already happening and safeguard the future for the people of Wales.