Decarbonising Wales ‘must be central to regional planning’

That’s the verdict from the Welsh Government, which has set out a 20-year vision on how to transform the country into a clean, connected and sustainable powerhouse

Decarbonising society and responding to the threats of climate change must be central to all regional planning.

That’s the verdict from the Welsh Government, which has set out a 20-year vision on how to transform the country into a clean, connected and sustainable powerhouse.

Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James has launched a consultation on the National Development Framework, through which businesses and the public will be able to offer their suggestions and feedback regarding the plans.

The report highlights a range of new priority areas it notes are well-suited for large-scale wind and solar energy development and commits to delivering more affordable homes at scale and pace across Wales.

It stresses it is vital to develop connected, inclusive and healthy places, world-class digital infrastructure, more sustainable transport and better ways of managing their natural resources and reducing pollution.

The document says policy will encourage a shift to low environmental impacts and low emission transport, with clean vehicles, cycling, walking and public transport replacing the era of privately-owned petrol and diesel vehicles.

It notes this transport must offer easy and convenient access for commuting, business, tourism and leisure purposes if it is to be adopted.

The report highlights that natural resources such as minerals, coastlines, water, forests and landscapes “are assets of great value in their own right” and must be managed, maintained and enhanced with nature-based solutions and a circular economy.

Losses in biodiversity will be reversed to enhance the resilience of ecosystems, while decarbonisation and renewable energy commitments and targets must be treated as opportunities to build a more resilient and fair low carbon economy.

Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James said: “We want to promote sustainable growth in Wales, focused around existing towns and cities. This strategy is sufficiently flexible to respond to the challenges of the next 20 years.

“We are ambitious to increase the amount of renewable energy generated here in Wales; the National Development Framework sets out where we believe large scale renewable energy projects should be located in Wales.

“We know that Wales needs more good quality housing; to develop renewable energy and for people to be able to access well-paid jobs close to where they live.”

Latest Podcast