Wales to target ‘net zero’ climate change emissions

Wales has accepted a target to cut carbon emissions by 95% by 2050 – but wants to go further and reach “net zero”, the Welsh Government has said.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) set out the recommendation in May, saying Wales could only reach a 95% reduction due to the importance of the farming industry to rural communities.

A farming union said it recognised the contribution farmers needed to make.

The UK government has announced a “net zero” target by 2050.

Lesley Griffiths AM said the Welsh Government would bring regulations to the assembly to amend its target.

Ms Griffiths, the minister for environment, energy and rural affairs, said: “I want to go further and I am declaring our ambition to bring forward a target for Wales to achieve net zero emissions no later than 2050.”

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.

Ms Griffiths later declared a climate emergency hoping it would trigger “a wave of action”.

The Welsh Government will bring regulations to the assembly next year to amend the existing 2050 target and budgets as necessary.

Ms Griffiths 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.

She said: “I have requested a meeting with my UK and Scottish counterparts to discuss how we will rise to the challenge of climate change together.”

John Davies, president of the National Farmers’ Union, said it had already outlined that improvements in productivity, carbon capture and renewable energy production were the most effective ways to realise such ambitions.

He added that agriculture contributes 12% to Wales’ overall emissions “and we absolutely recognise the contribution we have to make in tackling climate change”.

“Our organisations are aligned: acting to tackle damaging climate change is vital.”

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