The election for the next leader of the Welsh Labour party and First Minister of Wales is underway. SERA - Labour's Environment Campaign asked the three candidates for their green vision for Wales.
The election for the next leader of the Welsh Labour party and First Minister of Wales is underway. SERA - Labour's Environment Campaign asked the three candidates for their green vision for Wales. These are their responses:
A swift and radical overhaul of current environmental policy to maximise daily actions to
combat climate change and make Wales a global “Beacon” for green government is pledged by
Labour Party Wales leadership contender Eluned Morgan.
“We are in a climate emergency. How we confront global warming and its impacts on our climate, people
and species and ecology will define our future and those of our children.” said Eluned.
“The Welsh Labour Government should be correctly proud of the unique law it has introduced – the
Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, which drives sustainability by tying policy production to any
“But we all recognize that much more needs to be done and must be done quickly. My Government’s
work to build on the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act will drive visible, viable and vital green activity
and actions in day-to-day and civic life. That means Green businesses; Green jobs; Green infrastructure;
Green government. A Cabinet Secretary for Sustainability, Energy and Climate Change. More can be
done and I pledge that my government will do it from day one.” said Eluned.
Eluned’s detailed plan for a greener Wales:
A National Forest for Wales: Central to my green growth vision is a National Forest planted by the
people of Wales and ideally owned by the people of Wale, to rejuvenate our rural landscape, provide
sustainable jobs and go some way to addressing the ludicrous situation in which we find ourselves
where we import 70% of our timber.
A National Forest will be an enduring contribution to combatting climate change and define mine and
future Welsh governments.
Affordable, clean energy: At one stage I left politics for three years to be Head of Low Carbon
Development for the largest generator of renewable energy in the UK. Here I delivered the £7m Smart
Energy Centre based in Treforest. I had led the debates and formulated laws whilst a Labour MEP in the
European Parliament on energy, and secured EU laws that meant that as well as environmental
protection, affordable energy must be key considerations to support the poorest in our society.
Constructive construction: We will maximise the development of Eco homes across Wales; and where
possible ensure that local businesses and materials are used.
We will change building and planning regulations to put Wales at the forefront of designing and building
homes which will not only use little energy but will generate energy. Every new home that is built will
need to be equipped with electric vehicle charging points.
Carbon Neutral Public Sector: I will legislate to ensure that the whole of the public sector becomes
carbon neutral and that public buildings become net generators of energy.
Domestic energy use: Measures to:
• insulate homes will continue to be rolled out across Wales.
• Identify and assist those who are in most need.
• help older people clear their attics to enable insulation to be placed in cold homes.
Renewable targets: I will drive benefits from renewable developments back to host communities;
charge the Welsh Government to generate enough energy on its estate to meet all its energy needs
within a decade; support the development of appropriate electricity grids to deliver on renewable
opportunities and reform the planning and consents system to promote and drive growth in clean
energy production and generation.
Climate proofing our policies: I will appoint a Cabinet Secretary for Sustainability, Energy and Climate
Change. We will continue to work within the European policy framework and will ensure that all of our
policy approaches meet with the EU targets and ambitions.
Environmental Transport : Clear targets will be introduced to encourage the use of zero emission cars.
By 2030, 50% of Welsh Government vehicles will be zero carbon emission and all local buses will be zero
This is a copy of a speech Mark made on the environment
This evening I want to focus on environmental justice and ways in which we can live up to the ambitions of one of the most radical pieces of legislation passed in the devolution era - the Wellbeing of Future Generations' Act.
We forget, sometimes, that writing the sustainability principle into the original 1998 Government of Wales Act was itself a ground-breaking decision.
Today, we have to reapply that principle in the context of the 21st century- a century in which oil will run out and in which every citizen has an obligation to help reduce the share of the world's resources we take for our own needs.
Wales has some of the greatest environmental assets of any small country in the world. But under the surface all is far from well.
Natural Resources Wales reported in 2016 on the threat to species' biodiversity and the impact which this produces on water quality, air quality and the quality of life for Welsh citizens.
Our basic ecosystem is in decline. We have to make it resilient again. How is that to be done?
So tonight I want to outline some practical actions to set us on a new course.
We will invest in rural areas to enhance biodiversity, improve access to the countryside so that people from all parts of Wales can enjoy the advantages that the rural parts of Wales are bringing.
By embracing the principles of environmental growth we offer a a route to reconciling some of the historic tensions between the economy and environment, especially in rural Wales.
I want to commit to an Environmental Growth Plan for Wales and this will be my first action to halt and reverse the damage done to our natural environment -promoting industries which enhance rather than damage the natural world. This will include investing in flood alleviation, tackling coastal erosion thereby enhancing the assets we cherish.........and looking to natural ways rather than defaulting automatically to concrete solutions.
It will go hand in hand with the proposals in the Welsh Government's 'Brexit- Our Land' with its 'public money for public good' principle. It will allow us, in a socialist way, to pay farmers for those things which the market will never reward ...water quality, good soil, flood prevention.
We know that there are many farmers across Wales who provide these public goods - rather than simply occupy the land they stand on - but who get little by way of economic rewards for doing so.
'Brexit - Our Land' and an Environmental Growth Plan can change that : keeping farmers on the land and focusing on practical actions for some small things- changing the mowing practices of local authorities, installing drinking fountains in all parts of Wales, using sloping land to create meadows, doubling allotments - to large and symbolically significant measures such as building on the fantastic success of the Wales Coastal Path and creating a new National Forest for Wales with all the advantages that can bring.
Let me turn now to energy policy, because so much of what we need to make happen here in Wales lies here in our own hands.
Wales was amazingly fortunate to be the cradle of the first industrial revolution...and the first out of it!
At the start of the next industrial revolution geography once more sits on our side- we have tremendous advantages of wind, water and waves.
Here in west Wales the experiments in marine energy are most promising eg Ramsey Sound.
These offer not just breakthrough technologies, but jobs for the future.
Jobs for the long term and for the long term health of the planet.
New technologies with long term uses...and because we have so much to gain we need to be single minded about it and develop these as manufacturing industries. And indeed one of them may be the technology that will be used around the world!
We need to take resolute action against technologies that move in the opposite direction such as fracking.
We need to be hard headed about risks from nuclear power as well. It is still our policy as a party that nuclear power remains part of the energy policy mix. But I would establish an independent commission that ensured the population of Wales was properly advised of all the implications if they (Hinckley and Wylfa) were to be adopted. We need to be demanding on this issue and ensure that these plans do not go ahead in a way that exploits the local communities.
Because I've focussed on environmental issues this evening, there is a risk there that the connections between this and other agendas goes unstated.
Let me end by drawing them briefly to the surface because I hope I've said enough already to persuade you that the needs of our economy and the needs of our environment can be made complimentary, rather than competitive.
And because I am determined that, for compelling social justice reasons, we must bring together the needs of energy security and tackling energy poverty.
That is why I am committed to re-examining the case for a new Welsh Energy Mutual here in Wales. We have the example of Dwr Cymru here before us in Wales. This makes no profits other than to reinvest in the service it provides. A Welsh Energy Mutual might be able to develop a similar service...encouraging energy efficiency, reducing fuel poverty, advising on the best tariffs and leading to local energy production.
This is an agenda for a 21st century ....a socialist agenda.
We understand that we all do better when we act together to create collective solutions to common problems.
We can reach into the lives of those who need to have their struggles heard.
All this will lead to a greener future for now, for our children and grandchildren.
'We do not inherit the earth from those that come before us, we borrow it from those that come after us.'
We are awaiting a response from Vaughan and will update this page when one is received