Ahead of Paris Agreement on Climate Change Taking Effect, Simon Thomas AM Says Welsh Government Must Do More

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Plaid Cymru’s Simon Thomas has called upon the Welsh Government to start taking its responsibilities on tackling climate change seriously during a Plaid Cymru debate in the Senedd chamber.

Ahead of the Paris Agreement taking effect this Saturday, the Shadow Secretary for Energy, Climate Change and Rural Affairs said the Labour Cabinet lacked a coherent plan for achieving its short term target of reducing carbon emissions by 40% by 2020 and its long term target of an 80% reduction by 2050.

He added that it was regrettable that Wales was in this position ahead of the landmark Paris agreement taking effect which sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C.

“The Government is all over the place when it comes to tackling climate change and this is deeply disappointing,” said Simon Thomas, AM for Mid and West Wales.

“A prime example of this can be found in them producing a programme for government and a draft budget before publishing its Future Generations Act aims. They’ve put the cart before the horse.

“What we urgently need now is a coherent plan that will demonstrate, stage-by-stage and across all departments, how the Welsh Government intends to cut emissions by 40% by 2020.

“So far, the record on tackling climate change in Wales has not been great. Our carbon emissions have reduced by just 18% since 1990, compared to the 46% achieved in Scotland.

“This needs to improve dramatically if Wales is to be serious about tackling climate change and if we are to be taken seriously internationally as a force for good in tackling climate change.

“The Paris agreement was historic for the amount of countries it encapsulated – either as a signatory or as a party to the agreement. The Welsh Government must now ensure it plays it part in tackling one of, if not the, biggest crisis we face now and for the future.”

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