Climate Change Strategy Must Lead to Action; Last Month Peter Davies Was Appointed the First Independent Chair of the Climate Change Commission forWales, Complementing His Existing Role as Commissioner forWales at the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC). Here He Gives His Thoughts on the Assembly Government's Climate Change Strategy, Launched on October 7 at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth
As a small and industrialised nation, Wales can play an important role in demonstrating leadership on the climate change issue. The recent launch of our Climate Change Strategy is a step towards achieving that and we now need to turn it into action.
We need to make some big and urgent changes - to how we travel, manage our land, heat our homes and run our economy. Yet the shift to a low carbon nation can bring many benefits beyond tackling climate change.
It can mean cheaper, more reliable energy, better air quality and more comfortable homes. There are also major business opportunities.
Having launched its Climate Change Strategy, the Welsh Assembly Government can and must provide leadership and continued commitment to tackling climate change. Although it doesn't have the powers to do everything, it must do what it can and work with others to significantly cut Wales' emissions.
The strategy is an important step on this journey and I am glad that it included areas highlighted in the SDC's Low Carbon Wales report for the Assembly Government, such as refurbishing existing homes and enabling people to make low carbon travel choices.
Transport and housing contribute a significant part of our total emissions and are areas where the Assembly Government can make a big difference. The strategy recognises the ongoing Low Carbon Regions project, in which the SDC is supporting the Assembly Government in bringing together organisations in each region of Wales to cut emissions in the ways that are best for that area. Action in Gwynedd will be different to what is required in Newport, for instance.
However, it is not only government that needs to act. Tackling climate change will require concerted action from all parts of society, and everyone has a role to play.
Acknowledging this, the Climate Change Commission was founded - not only to provide independent advice to the Welsh Assembly Government, but also to provide guidance and advice on climate change issues across all sectors in Wales.
It will have an important role in engaging with people from diverse backgrounds, bringing them together to exchange views and work towards our common goals of cutting emissions and adapting to the effects of climate change.
We are fortunate that in Wales there is already great enthusiasm for taking personal action. A study by Cardiff University and Ipsos MORI research from earlier this year shows 75% of us agree that it is our personal responsibility to help to do something about climate change. …