Later this year, world leaders will gather for a major climate change conference in Paris. It’s an important moment for people and wildlife as they discuss how to reduce emissions and avoid dangerous global temperature rises. Wales will have to play its part in cutting emissions, so WWF Cymru has been working with other members of Stop Climate Chaos Cymru to campaign for a ‘Fair Climate Deal’. Here, our new Media and Campaigns Officer Cerith Rhys Jones, writes about the launch of the coalition’s ‘Road to Paris campaign’ at the National Assembly for Wales.
Yesterday was Bastille Day – the national day of France – so what better time to kick off our and our colleagues from Stop Climate Chaos Cymru’s ‘Road to Paris’ campaign, looking ahead to the UN climate change conference known as COP 21 that will take place in the French capital this November.
We were very pleased that the honorary consul of France in Wales, Marie Brousseau-Navarro, was able to join us at our ‘Paris Picnic’ on the steps of the Senedd – the iconic home of the National Assembly for Wales – in Cardiff Bay to kick off our campaign. By the way – why not check out a Storify from the event here?
Celebrating Bastille Day, we had our French picnic, our chansons, our giant tricolour and our bicycle that generates electricity with us at the Senedd. It was great to be with our colleagues from the coalition, which includes organisations like Friends of the Earth Cymru, NUS Wales, Oxfam Cymru, Christian Aid Cymru, Cafod, and many more, speaking to Assembly Members about why a fair, global deal on climate action is important – in Wales, and in Paris. Momentum is growing towards such a deal, but we need to keep climate action on the political agenda.
Our event yesterday was a fun way to kick off our campaign and, let’s face it, who would say no to a croissant? But of course, it was also an opportunity for us to get our message across to decision-makers. We spoke to AMs from all our four parties in the National Assembly. Some of them were eager to have a go on the electricity-generating bike, others not so much, but they all agreed with us that a fair, global deal on climate action is desperately needed. That includes the Welsh Government’s Minister for Natural Resources, Carl Sargeant AM, who last month signed the Under 2 MOU on climate action at sub-national government level on Wales’ behalf.
We’ve made a start on this in Wales. In fact, the Environment Bill has started its journey through the National Assembly, and it’s great news that the Bill includes a statutory requirement that we reduce our national greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.
But we need to keep going. Paris needs to deliver a fair, global deal on climate action, and the Environment Bill needs to become a strong enough Act to enable us in Wales to play our part in the global fight against climate change.
We hope you had a good Bastille Day – we certainly did!