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The UK Government must respect devolution when tackling climate change

Published 22/10/2021   |   Last Updated 27/10/2021   |   Reading Time minutes

The Senedd’s Climate Change Committee has voiced serious concerns that the UK Government gave the Welsh Government no prior warning before publishing its Net Zero plan this week.

When questioned by the Committee, Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change, Julie James MS, revealed that the UK Government gave her department effectively no information before the publication of the UK Government’s Net Zero plan on Tuesday.

The Minister told the Committee that her department received the report at 12:01am on the morning of publication.

Llyr Gruffydd MS, Chair of the Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure Committee, said:

“The threat of climate change requires the co-operation of governments across the globe to work together. It’s hard then to believe that the UK Government would withhold information from their counterparts in the Welsh Government before the publication of the Net Zero plan.

“The Welsh Government’s request to view the document before publication was perfectly reasonable, yet the UK Government’s response goes against the spirit of co-operation. The UK Government must respect the role of devolution in tackling climate change.

“I hope that the commitments to engage with devolved governments set out in the strategy will prove to be fact and not fiction.”

Minister for Climate Change, Julie James also informed the Senedd’s Climate Change Committee that her meeting with UK Government Minister State for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change on Monday 18 October, in which she was told of the upcoming Net Zero plan, was only 15 minutes long.