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22/03/2019

Carbon-cutting blueprint published in Wales

Words: Roger Milne
Tree planting / Shutterstock_580933222

The Welsh Government has committed itself to a major increase in tree planting to meet the country’s carbon reduction goals. It should see Wales reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050.

Ministers have just published a 200-page strategy, Prosperity for All: a Low Carbon Wales, which sets out how the country will meet its first carbon budget due by 2030, as well as setting the country on course for the later target.

According to this blueprint, tree planting will have to increase to at least 2,000 hectares a year soon before doubling to 4,000 hectares annually “as rapidly as possible”.

Other key policies in this strategy include:

  • Commissioning an independent feasibility study on carbon capture use and storage;
  • Reducing emissions from power generation in Wales using consenting, planning and permitting powers;
  • Developing a policy position on the fuels used to generate power;
  • Encouraging the take-up of electric vehicles by developing a rapid charging network;
  • Planning for buses, taxis and private hire vehicles to be zero-emission by 2028; and
  • Reviewing building regulations so higher energy-efficiency standards can be set for new-builds.

Lesley Griffiths, minister for environment, energy and rural affairs, told AMs: “The plan pulls together 76 existing pieces of policy from across the Welsh and UK governments and the EU where decarbonisation is integrated either as a direct outcome or a wider benefit.

“Some of these are new Welsh Government policies which have come on stream since the start of the budget period, such as the economic action plan and renewable energy targets, or revamped policies such as Planning Policy Wales where decarbonisation is now a central pillar.”

Image credit | Shutterstock

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