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Jenny Willott MP

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Wales' Climate Change Failures Show Lack of Co-ordination & Political Will

October 29, 2007 12:00 AM

Today, the Welsh Liberal Democrats backed the recommendations in the Environmental Audit Committee report into the Government's climate change policies for greater co-ordination and political will.

The Committee recommended setting up a new body within the Cabinet Office and a cross-departmental Climate Change Minister to drive forward the Government's climate change policy and reduce inter-departmental disputes.

Commenting, Jenny Willott MP said:

"The complete failure to boost renewable energy supplies and cut carbon emissions in Wales is a clear result of abysmal political co-ordination between Westminster and the Assembly and a total lack of political will to drive through climate change policies.

"Wales has the highest carbon emissions per person in the UK and the 12th highest in the world. To meet Assembly carbon targets, Wales needs to cut its emissions by a further 15% by 2010.

"But when you look at the hopeless coordination efforts, this is hardly surprising. For example, the Assembly is responsible for reducing fuel poverty but has no power to raise eco-building standards.

"Three new gas-fired power stations are likely to be built in Wales over the next few years. But none of them are set to have new efficient Combined Heat and Power because the Government has not established any kind of regulatory framework for this new kind technology.

"What's more, there is a hopeless lack of political will behind our climate change commitments.

"While many EU countries have drawn-up action plans to meet the target of generating 20% of energy supplies from renewables by 2020, in the UK we are still consulting over yet another energy white paper.

"Meanwhile the Assembly is now 79% behind its schedule of generating 10% of Wales' electricity from renewable energy by 2010 and the Government is trying to reduce its EU renewable energy commitments from 20% by 2020 down to between 10% and 15%.