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Wales targets 'net zero' carbon transformation by 2050

The devolved administration will introduce legislation next year to adopt CCC recommendations to realise a 95 per cent reduction of carbon emissions compared to 1990 levels

The Welsh government will introduce stricter targets for reducing national carbon emissions to at least 95 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050. The devolved authority said it would adopt the recent recommendations made by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) into law next year as part of a move that will likely increase pressure for a similar response from the UK government and key industry such as the HVACR sector.

Lesley Griffiths, the minister for environment, energy and rural affairs in Wales, said that while committing to meet the 95 per cent reduction recommended in the CCC’s report, the government was intending to achieve ‘net zero’ emissions over the same period.

She said, “I am declaring our ambition to bring forward a target for Wales to achieve net zero emissions no later than 2050. In order to identify opportunities for even more rapid decarbonisation in Wales I will work closely with the CCC and other stakeholders.”

Ms Griffiths said the commitments would require Westminster to ensure sufficient support was in place for the devolved administration to realise the required changes and dramatically curb emissions from businesses, homes and transport.

She added, “It is vitally important the UK Government ensures the costs and benefits of moving to net-zero are spread fairly across the UK, including support for vulnerable workers and consumers. It is equally important where the main levers remain with the UK government, it considers how its policy aimed at decarbonising the economy would impact on our ability in Wales to deliver our challenging target.”

“The CCC advice recognised the need for a collective approach across the UK. I agree - any UK target can only be achieved if all governments in the UK work more closely on this issue. That is why I have requested a meeting with my UK and Scottish counterparts to discuss how we will rise to the challenge of climate change together.”

Under the recommendations set out in The CCC’s net zero report last month, Scotland was urged to introduce a new target to reach net zero emissions by 2045 with the wider UK urged to follow five years later.

The report said that its proposed commitments to try and limit global warming were both vital and viable from a technology and cost perspective.

However, the CCC, which advises government on climate change policy, was critical over the limited level of planning undertaken so far to determine how key building services functions such as lower carbon heat can be realised in the UK.

Even with the UK government still officially committed to ensure an 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from 1990 levels over the next 30 years, an exact pathway towards lower carbon heating and transport is yet to be finalised.

By 2025, all existing gas boilers that are designed for the current gas grid will no longer be acceptable for use in new homes.

However, government policy is yet to determine whether appliances designed exclusively for any potential alternative forms of gas, either in a revised single grid, or more region-specific transmission systems, will play a role in new build properties.

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