The report looks at the early progress made since the strategy was published in October 2010. It focuses on the Welsh Government’s work to reduce emissions by 3% per year as well as its commitment to prepare Wales for the future impacts of a changing climate
Achievements highlighted within the report include the success of the Welsh Government’s strategic energy scheme, Arbed which along with its boiler scrappage scheme and its home energy efficiency programme helped to make 25,000 Welsh homes easier and cheaper to heat during 2010-11.
The report also shows that the Welsh Government has made good progress in rolling out its Sustainable Travel Centre initiative which is delivering better integrated transport networks whilst promoting health and well-being.
It confirms the ongoing support and advice that Welsh Government is giving to businesses on energy efficiency and low carbon opportunities for SMEs, and its work to lead action across the public sector to reduce emissions.
This includes the Welsh Government’s success in reducing its own emissions by 11% as part of the 10:10 campaign along with its work to encourage local authorities to commit to reducing their own emissions in line with Strategy’s 3% target. The report also highlights a new carbon reduction tool that will help local heath boards to reduce their emissions.
Another area in which the Welsh Government is making good progress is in delivering plans to drive down emissions from waste management. Indeed Wales currently has the highest recycling rates in the UK as a result of the combined efforts of Government, local authorities and householders, and expects to hit 50% recycling sometime this year.
The report also responds to recent recommendations from the Climate Change Commission for Wales and the UK Climate Change Committee on areas for future action.
Speaking about the report, Environment Minister, John Griffiths said:
“This report confirms that we are making real progress in delivering the Climate Change Strategy. It highlights the activity taking place across Wales to drive down our emissions and prepare for a changing climate .
“I’m particularly pleased that our ambitious targets – the toughest in the UK - and the progress we are making have been recognised by Wales’ independent Climate Change Commission and the UK Committee on Climate Change.
“However we know there is no room for complacency on this challenging agenda.
“I am committed to maintaining the focus on delivering our cross-sector approach and to working with our partners, and we will continue to encourage individuals, communities and businesses in Wales to play their part. “
Peter Davies, Chair of the Climate Change Commission for Wales said:
"The report highlights progress that has been made in delivering the Climate Change strategy. The Climate Change Commission will be reviewing the responses made to our recommendations to ensure that all policies and programmes reflect the need to reduce carbon emission and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
“This requires an unrelenting focus on support for energy efficiency, creating jobs and reducing costs for businesses and households across Wales. In this respect I particularly welcome Welsh Government’s leadership action in reducing emissions by 11% across its own operations."
The Welsh Government is working hard to help Wales prepare for future climate change and has published new guidance for public bodies and a new national strategy on flood management. A new Adaptation Knowledge Transfer programme is also underway.