Climate change is a global issue and we’re tackling it locally

swansea event salix

Delegates put future generations at top of agenda at Journey to a net zero Wales climate event 

Big picture ideas and solutions can be used to tackle climate issues more locally, it was agreed at a climate change event in Wales this week.

Representatives from authorities across Wales shared their green ideas and challenges at the Journey to a Net Zero Wales 2024 event.

The group, met at Swansea University Bay Campus, to discuss how we can decarbonise our buildings in Wales. Delegates are front and centre of their decarbonisation strategies.

The event co-incided with news that Wales now leads the way in the UK for recycling, according to the global rankings published by Eunomia Research and Consulting and Reloop.  

Global Recycling League Table - Phase One Report is based on the recycling performance of 48 countries. 

According to the research, Wales is listed just behind Austria in the global rankings with Northern Ireland ranked 9th, England at 11th and Scotland at 15th among the 48 countries included in the comparison.

The achievement has been credited to people working together as well as investment in infrastructure. And the theme of working together and investment ran through this week’s event.

Delegates also agreed that we must move faster on climate change as organisations work together to deliver the net zero by 2030 ambition. This would be pivotal to how future generations will be impacted by climate change.

Neil Davies from Carmarthenshire County Borough Council added: “When we ask ourselves why are we doing this – just look where we live. We need to protect it for future generations to come.

“We love our home, and I don’t just say this, I really mean it. It’s a collaborative story and we will get there together."

Neil Davies was speaking at the event organised by the Welsh Government and the Welsh Government Energy Service alongside Salix Finance, which is an organisation that helps deliver green programmes and funding across the country.

Head of Welsh Government Energy Service, David Powlesland, said “Wales needs to lead by example. We have the first government to declare a climate emergency and we are determined to follow through on our promises to cut emissions for the sake of our planet and the people that inhabit it.” 

The Journey to a Net Zero Wales 2024 event, which is in its second year, is an initiative designed to bring public sector organisations together to recognise, celebrate and discuss the low-carbon initiatives introduced by public sector bodies across Wales. 

It’s also an opportunity to discuss the challenges around decarbonisation. 

Speakers included Alice Milanese from Cardiff University, Ioan Vantu from Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and Dan Priddy from University of Wales Trinity St David. 

Speaker Dan Priddy said: “There is no one size fits all approach to managing buildings that vary to such a degree. But this project is a clear sign that you can retrofit age buildings and bring them into the low carbon future.” 

University of Wales Trinity St David used Welsh Government funding to introduce LED lighting, insulation, and solar PV to its Lampeter Library. Originally built in 1965, the library has seen a reduction of 63% in electricity consumption because of this project. 

Moving forward the university hopes to introduce Welsh wool as roof insulation across the estate and turn its efforts to decarbonising its heating. 

Salix senior programme manager, Heather Jones, said: “The event offers a chance to share ideas and challenges and bring people together to talk about the real issues facing us.

“Everyone agreed that by working together and seeing infrastructure investment we can make a difference. Climate change is a global problem and is a threat to our society and to future generations.

“It is already having an impact today. Together we can come up with solutions, and we can make a difference.”

Photo credit: Kamila Jarczak