Wales politics

WWF Cymru: Welsh Government 'failing in key green aims'

Motorway traffic jam
Image caption Emissions targets are being missed in economic development, housing and transport, said the report

The Welsh Government is failing to meet some of its key carbon emissions reduction aims, according to a report.

WWF Cymru said targets were being missed in areas such as economic development, transport and housing.

The charity is urging the government to do more, after figures showed emissions in Wales rising, while they fell in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The Welsh Government said it was proud of its progress on green issues but there was more work yet to be done.

The report by expert Dr Alan Netherwood analyses how policy areas are performing against government targets.

Although agriculture, energy and waste are praised, it raises concerns about other areas.

One Planet

A separate report from the UK Committee on Climate Change on the most recent emissions data available shows a fall in Scotland of 2.9% and 0.4% in Northern Ireland but an increase of 4.7% in Wales for 2008.

WWF Cymru is holding a conference in Cardiff on Thursday to examine how the Welsh Government can cut its carbon emissions over the next five years.

Anne Meikle, head of WWF Cymru, said: "Are we on target to become a One Planet, low carbon nation?

"The short answer is "we don't know". But 'possibly' is the likely answer.

"We can congratulate the last government on setting some clear goals for an environmentally sustainable nation and for putting in place much of the policy framework to achieve this.

"However, at present there is no evidence that the cumulative effort adds up to what is required."

The conference will be addressed by Sir John Houghton, co-chair of the Nobel Peace Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) scientific assessment working group.

The Welsh Government said it welcomed the WWF report as an important contribution to the planned review of its sustainable development scheme, and the work that followed on from that review.

A spokesperson said: "We are proud of the progress we have made with our sustainable development scheme particularly in terms of waste, energy efficiency and transport.

"However we recognise that there is much important work yet to do and we look forward to working with WWF as we further develop our policies and programmes on sustainable development."

DR NETHERWOOD'S ANALYSIS OF POLICY AREAS:

Economic Devolopment

The Welsh Government's key policy shift has failed to place 'One Wales One Planet' footprint reduction and sustainable consumption as part of its vision, action plan and monitoring.

Transport

The policy hierarchy, including regional transport plans, national transport plan, Wales transport strategy and capital programmes are failing to show how transport footprint reduction might be realised.

Public Sector

There have been missed opportunities to drive home the One Wales One Planet agenda over recent discourse, including the local government measure, guidance to local service boards and the recent review of public services.

Housing

The Housing Strategy shows little evidence of taking on the One Wales One Planet vision or mechanisms for building/housing footprint reduction, despite progress in devolving building regulations to Wales.

Food and Agriculture

Both strategies provide excellent examples of forward thinking, well-researched and evidenced policy, with sustainable development and the notion of One Planet living firmly embedded in both its high level aims and its detail.

Energy

A wide range of policy interventions for carbon abatement and subsequent footprint reduction are identified in A Low Carbon Revolution, the Welsh Government energy policy statement and the climate change strategy.

Waste

The Welsh Government's strategy, Towards Zero Waste: One Wales: One Planet 2009-2050, includes footprint reduction targets for different sectors, and a clear relationship between past footprint analysis and policy interventions.

Public Sector

Progress by the NHS in Wales to measure and reduce its carbon footprint and the impetus that the Welsh Government provides to local government via the sustainable development framework and outcome agreements.

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