Wales will accept the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) recommendation for a 95% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and go further with an ambition to reach net-zero, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths confirmed today.
In response to a request from the Welsh, Scottish and UK Governments to reassess the UK’s long-term emissions target, the CCC published its ‘Net Zero – the UK’s contribution to global warming’ in May.
By aiming to reach net-zero, the Welsh Government will be the only Government considering going beyond the CCC’s recommendations.
The Welsh Government will bring regulations to the Assembly next year to amend the existing 2050 target and amend Wales’ interim targets and carbon budgets as necessary.
In March, the Welsh Government published its low carbon plan containing detailed sector-by-sector emissions profiles and 100 policies and proposals to achieve a low-carbon Wales. Soon afterwards, the Minister declared a climate emergency to strengthen and galvanise climate change action at home and internationally.
Accepting the recommendation, the Minister said:
“I would like to thank the Committee on Climate Change for their advice. We are committed to delivering the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions required to make our contribution to a net zero target for the UK. Achievement of these targets would mean the UK ends its contribution to global warming within 30 years and fulfils our commitments under the Paris Agreement.
Therefore, I am accepting the CCC’s recommendation for a 95% reduction in Wales. But I want to go further and today I am declaring our ambition to bring forward a target for Wales to achieve net zero emissions no later than 2050. In order to identify opportunities for even more rapid decarbonisation in Wales I will work closely with the CCC and other stakeholders.”
The Minister has today also urged the UK Government to ensure the costs of moving to net-zero are spread across the UK and called for closer collaboration across all governments on a UK target.
The Minister added:
“It is vitally important the UK Government ensures the costs and benefits of moving to net-zero are spread fairly across the UK, including support for vulnerable workers and consumers. It is equally important where the main levers remain with the UK Government, it considers how its policy aimed at decarbonising the economy would impact on our ability in Wales to deliver our challenging target.
The CCC advice recognised the need for a collective approach across the UK. I agree – any UK target can only be achieved if all Governments in the UK work more closely on this issue. That is why I have requested a meeting with my UK and Scottish counterparts to discuss how we will rise to the challenge of climate change together.”