The Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has opened a Welsh Conservative debate on the need for a green recovery by making clear the need to stimulate job creation in land and marine conservation, research and clean energy generation.
Today’s debate motion called on the Welsh Government to work with the UK Government and set out a plan to deliver thousands of green collar jobs for a greener economy, making clear the need to urgently bring forward key pledges such as a clean air Bill, banning of single use plastics for non-medical use, and a deposit-return scheme.
In praising the UK Government’s ten point plan for kickstarting a green industrial revolution, Janet said:
“In hosting COP26, the United Kingdom has cemented its position as a world leader in instituting public policy as a means to confront the climate and nature emergencies. But with the 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution, the UK Government has laid out instructive proposals for how this can be achieved in tandem with economic growth. “This plan will look to produce enough offshore wind to power every home, supporting up to 60,000 jobs. It will invest in carbon capture technology with a target to remove 10 megatonne of carbon dioxide by 2030; deliver cleaner nuclear energy supporting 10,000 jobs; and install 600,000 heat pumps every year by 2028. “As a devolved nation, it is now incumbent on the Welsh Government to get behind these aims and ambitions on decarbonisation and supercharge our drive towards clean energy production.
The Shadow Minister also made clear the need for the Welsh Government to create an independent office for environmental protection and climate change for Wales, which will hold the devolved Government and public bodies to account in tackling climate change.
Her speech made clear that this work had to be done in tandem with updating existing legislation and planning rules to set long-term targets for nature recovery, as well as mandating biodiversity net gains on new development.
Speaking outside the Siambr after her contribution, Janet said:
“To recognise the skills required to drive forward the green agenda, actions should be taken now, by this Welsh Government to upskill the Welsh workforce by implementing the Welsh Conservatives' pledge to deliver 150,000 new apprenticeships, thereby heeding the advice of ColegauCymru to diversify the green workforce. “I am also keen to see a push made to generate new marine jobs. Indeed, the potential for jobs and action can come through the establishment of research projects, such as planting seagrass meadows which are known to capture carbon up to 35 times faster than tropical rainforests. “But this work needs to be implemented in tandem with binding biodiversity targets that are implemented in the here and now, including placing the 30x30 initiative on a statutory footing. Nature cannot play second fiddle to the climate and Wales cannot wait until after phase two CBD COP-15 talks for action to be taken."
Photo: Janet Finch-Saunders MS/AS