Wales

Wales 'lacks plan' to tackle climate change - campaigners

Wind turbines at Llangurig, Powys Image copyright Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Wales lacks a "clear action plan" to cut carbon emissions with key targets set to be missed, it has been claimed.

Stop Climate Chaos Cymru (SCCC) said ministers were "yet to deliver", while WWF Cymru warned of an "ambition gap".

The Welsh Government has repeatedly stated in recent years it wanted to take a lead in tackling climate change.

Environment Secretary Lesley Griffiths said she was meeting cabinet colleagues to discuss how each portfolio "is helping to reduce emissions".

Latest statistics show Wales has reduced its emissions by 18% since 1990, compared to 46% in Scotland.

The target is for a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

"We're far behind the trajectory needed to meet that target," Haf Elgar, chairman of SCCC told BBC Wales.

"We really need a comprehensive action plan across all departments of Welsh Government - not just in obvious areas like the environment. That can only be done if climate change is a consideration in all decisions and strategies.

"There should be a carbon assessment alongside every big strategy the government produces. But we've not seen that so far."

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Media captionStop Climate Chaos Cymru chairwoman Haf Elgar has called for a "clear plan"

Detail on carbon budgets - introduced as part of the Environment Act - were still lacking, she added.

SCCC and WWF Cymru want ministers to introduce a major energy efficiency programme, retrofitting thousands of homes with insulation.

They claim it would create jobs, cut fuel poverty and carbon emissions.

They are also calling for renewable energy schemes to be prioritised and an end to fossil fuel extraction in Wales.

Meanwhile, Plaid Cymru have called on the Welsh Government to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change.

In December 2015, Welsh ministers attended the summit where world leaders agreed to keep global temperature increases "well below 2C".

Since then, 76 parliaments have ratified the deal - including India, China, the USA and the EU. The UK Government said it intended to by the end of the year.

Image caption Aberthaw is Wales' biggest coal-fired power station

Plaid Cymru MEP Jill Evans said giving the Welsh Assembly the opportunity to debate and pledge support to the Paris Agreement was "not just a symbolic gesture - it would be a show of commitment by the Welsh Government on behalf of the people of Wales to continue the work of fighting climate change".

The Welsh Government said it was for the UK Government to formally ratify the deal.

Ms Griffiths said it was "something we can have discussions about as it's important we show we are happy to play our full part".

She added that the Welsh Government was committed to playing a key role in combating climate change.

A spokesperson added that the Environment (Wales) Act set interim targets and five-yearly carbon budgets.

"The levels of the interim targets and the first two carbon budgets need to be set in legislation by the end of 2018 and work is ongoing to achieve this," said the spokesperson.

It comes as environmental charities mark Go Green Day, with businesses and schools hosting activities to raise awareness of climate change.

The event will be launched at the Principality Stadium while the Wales Millennium Centre will also be lit green for the day.

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