NRW supports Welsh Government’s climate emergency declaration

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has identified priority actions to support the Welsh Government’s declaration of a Climate Emergency last month.

At a recent Board meeting, responding to the Welsh Government’s hope that the declaration triggers a wave of action, NRW committed to go further and faster to develop a range of decarbonisation, adaptation and behaviour change measures.

These include restoring peatlands to prevent carbon loss, managing forests to store more carbon, being energy efficient in offices, making more use of electric vehicles and sharing expertise to help other public-sector organisations.

Sir David Henshaw, Chairman of Natural Resources Wales, said:

“We are fully committed to playing a lead role in helping to meet the public-sector ambition of being carbon neutral by 2030.
“We will be working closely with the Welsh Government, local authorities and others to achieve this.
“The Climate Emergency declaration is a critical challenge to us all and should acknowledge the wider environmental emergency, particularly that of biodiversity loss. Many actions such as afforestation, peatland restoration and reducing pollution through energy efficiency have the potential to deliver many benefits - not just for the environment, but for our health, wellbeing and our economy.
“We now look forward to planning more work, in partnership with others, that will make a real difference to decarbonising Wales – so that tackling climate change is centre stage in all that we do.
“In this context, we welcome the Welsh Government’s rejection of the M4 relief road – a positive decision for the Gwent Levels, the sustainable management of its natural resources and the resilience of this unique habitat. However, we acknowledge this was a difficult decision and are keen to work with Welsh Government in helping find sustainable solutions to congestion issues.”

Over the coming months NRW will review its targets and ambitions for both decarbonisation as well as adaptation to the impacts of climate change across NRW’s remit. 

Specifically, NRW’s Board has committed to the following steps.

  • Improving the management of forests and peatlands so that they store more carbon;
  • Being more energy efficient and generating renewable energy where possible at offices;
  • Rapidly increase use of electric vehicles;
  • Exploring more opportunities to generate renewable energy on NRW managed land;
  • Giving more consideration to the use of carbon in everything purchased;
  • Sharing NRW’s experience of managing carbon emissions with other public-sector bodies to help bring about a greener public sector
  • Factoring in the inevitable global warming in all that we do and helping Wales adapt to the changes ahead