Wales sets independent Net Zero target, promises plan by COP26 – major carbon emitters targeted

Wales is set to speed up carbon reduction in its economy and commit to an independent Net Zero target by 2050.

Announcing new regulations and a legally binding target, Lesley Griffith AM, minister for environment, energy and rural affairs, said that previous advice from the Climate Change Committee had been that a net zero goal for the Welsh economy was “ credible, feasible or affordable”. But this view has changed and the CCC now recommends a  63% reductionby 2030 and  89% reduction by 2040 – a trajectory to Net Zero by 2050.

Griffiths said that the 2020s were the “decisive decade” and Wales had to “outperform” on current carbon budgets. She promised details of how Wales would achieve its new net zero ambition in the next All Wales Plan, which will be published in advance of COP26.

She added, “the most significant potential to accelerate emissions reductions in Wales is based on evidence suggesting greater abatement is possible in the industry and power sectors. This reflects the presence of a small number of high-emitting point sources in Wales, such as Port Talbot steelworks.” Previously she has advocated closing gas-fired generation in Wales (see interview).

An engagement plan for low carbon delivery, published in July 2020, noted that “Wales faces different challenges and opportunities to the rest of the UK in reducing our emissions, with nearly 50% of our emissions coming from areas of the economy which are highly exposed to international markets and which are regulated at UK and international level. We will need to take different approaches to areas which are primarily within the responsibility of the Welsh Government compared with those areas which are primarily the responsibility of UK Government.”

Further reading

INTERVIEW: Lesley Griffith Minister of Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Welsh Assembly


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