The Welsh Government has unveiled ambitious new plans to ensure a “stronger, greener and fairer” Wales, with climate change and environment set to be at the heart of of the new government.
It has created a “super-Ministry”, bringing together the big policy areas to help Wales reach its legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2050.
The new five-year Programme for Government has brought transport, planning, housing and energy together with the environment for the first time, in a bid to tackle the climate and nature emergencies, “making sure climate change is firmly on the agenda for every public service and private sector business”.
The government intends to launch a new 10-year Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan for a zero carbon economy, work towards its new target of 45% of journeys by sustainable modes by 2040 and develop a new major routes fund to improve the attractiveness and biodiversity of areas alongside major transport routes in Wales.
It also plans to legislate to abolish the use of more commonly littered, single-use plastics, introduce an extended producer responsibility scheme to incentivise waste reduction by businesses, introduce a Clean Air Act for Wales, consistent with the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance and extend the provision of air quality monitoring.
In addition, 20,000 new low carbon social homes will be built for rent as well as decarbonise more homes through retrofit programmes.
A Tidal Lagoon Challenge Fund will also be developed, supporting ideas that can make Wales “a world centre” of emerging tidal technologies.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “We will build a fairer, greener, stronger and ever more successful Wales that we all want for ourselves and for each other. But I am determined that as we move Wales forward, no one will be left behind and no one will be held back. People in Wales look after each other and this programme is built on exactly that principle.”