Llyr Gruffydd MS and Chair of the Senedd’s Climate Committee will attend CoP26 along with nine other Members. Here he outlines what he’d like to see as outcomes from the conference.
There was a time when “climate change” was just something we heard about in nature documentaries on BBC2. It was something that would affect distant countries, some of which we didn’t recognise, let alone had visited. But things have changed over the last decade or so. There is now a real sense that climate change is affecting us all. Almost every week there are stories in the news about extreme weather events or biodiversity loss.
It’s tempting to be fatalistic. But one thing keeps me positive – there is a growing, almost deafening call in Wales for change, particularly from young people.
Today at COP26 in Glasgow the UN climate change summit starts. It will attract representatives from over 200 countries. During COP26 I and several other Senedd Members - most of whom are Committee Chairs - will be doing everything we can to make sure that the voice of Wales is heard loud and clear.
I believe it’s vital that we see progress in three areas:
- Firstly, we need to see a commitment on financing. On a global level, we need to ensure that rich countries support developing countries by providing them with the resources to tackle climate change. On a UK level, we need to ensure that Wales gets a fair share of resources so we can invest in the innovation we’ll need to tackle climate change.
- Second, we need to see good intentions converted into decisive action. We know that in Wales we need to make more progress in the next ten years than we have in the last thirty. We can’t kick the can down the road anymore – we’re running out of road.
- Third, we need to see a just transition. On a global level, some of the poorest countries on Earth will suffer the most from the climate crisis, and they need the support of rich countries. On a UK level, the burden of the necessary changes shouldn’t fall on the poorest in our communities. In Wales, this means ensuring that all our citizens have the skills to thrive in a new, green economy.
I will be raising these and other issues when I attend COP26 this week.
Every missed opportunity makes it harder to reach the goals we need to reach. It means that more of our communities will be put at risk. We must make sure that Wales’s voice is heard.