The Welsh government has gone beyond the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) by pledging to reduce greenhouse emissions in Wales to net zero by 2050.
In a report published in May, the CCC advised the Westminster government to aim for net zero emissions across the whole of the UK by the middle of the century.
It said Scotland should go a little faster – reaching net zero five years earlier in 2045 – and Wales a little slower – cutting emissions by 95 per cent on 1990 levels – owing to its large sheep farming industry.
The Welsh government is now planning to introduce legislation to amend its existing targets and carbon budgets to plot a route towards complete decarbonisation by 2050.
Minister for the environment, energy and rural affairs, Lesley Griffiths, said: “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 per cent reduction in Wales. But I want to go further and today (11 June) I am declaring our ambition to bring forward a target for Wales to achieve net zero emissions no later than 2050.”
Griffiths said it was “vitally important” that the UK government ensured that the costs of decarbonisation were spread equally across the country and gave proper consideration to the impact of its policies on Welsh efforts.
“The CCC advice recognised the need for a collective approach across the UK,” she added. “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.”
The Scottish government recently unveiled draft legislation to implement the 2045 target recommended by the CCC.
To maintain pressure on the UK government to adopt the CCC’s recommendations, the chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee, Rachel Reeves, is planning to present a bill to parliament shortly enshrining the 2050 target in law.