Climate change expert group to be set up by National Assembly committee
A reference group of climate change experts is being set up by a National Assembly committee to help it scrutinise the Welsh Government's progress towards meeting ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee decided to establish an expert reference group to assist with its work. This comes after the Committee met stakeholders to discuss the approach it needs to take towards ensuring the Welsh Government fulfills its climate change commitments.
In 2010 the Welsh Government published its climate change strategy, which set out targets including a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by three per cent year-on-year in devolved areas, and 40% in total emissions by 2020. But the Environment (Wales) Act 2016 went further, placing statutory duties on the Welsh Government and introducing a new carbon budgeting method to measure progress towards reducing emissions.
Duties contained in the Act include:
- The Welsh Government must ensure that the net Welsh emissions for the year 2050 are at least 80% lower than the baseline (1990 or 1995), with the Welsh Government able to increase this target;
- By the end of 2018, the Welsh Government must set interim emissions targets for 2020, 2030 and 2040;
- For each five-year budgetary period the Welsh Government must set a maximum total amount for net Welsh emissions (a carbon budget); and
- The Welsh Government will be required to take into account international agreements to limit increases in global average temperatures.
"Ensuring the Welsh Government is held to account on its policy and actions in tackling the causes and consequences of climate change is a key priority" said Mark Reckless AM, Chair of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee.
"Under the Environment Act the Government has set itself some tough targets on greenhouse gas emissions, enshrined in law, so a coherent and ambitious plan to meet those targets is essential."
"For these reasons we have decided to establish an expert reference group to advise the Committee on its work on climate change."
The Committee is in the process of finalising terms of reference for the group and establishing its membership. It will be publishing a report that sets out its overall approach to climate change scrutiny before the end of the year.
Climate change is also a cross-cutting issue and therefore Members will be keen to work with other Assembly committees to ensure their work is contributing to the climate change agenda.
The Chair of the Committee will be raising this with all Assembly Committee Chairs at a meeting on 18 November.
More information about the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee.