Commissioner at COP26
Wales has a huge story to tell at COP26 – our Well-being of Future Generations Act.
The climate and nature crisis is here, it’s now – that’s why every country in the world needs a future generations act to limit the impact. We all have a duty to protect people not born yet, from the harm they’ll suffer without serious climate action.
COP is an annual climate change conference – a collective moment for governments, policy-makers, non-governmental organisations, businesses and civic society to mobilise and commit to taking climate action. This year, COP26 will take place in Glasgow, Scotland.
Wales boldly and unapologetically strives to be a Globally Responsible Nation – as per one of the Well-being of Future Generations Act’s well-being goals. As Future Generations Commissioner, I advise public institutions and others on the practical steps it can take to achieve this.
COP26 is an opportunity to share learning and have conversations on how we can encourage countries and institutions to understand and act for the long-term, embedding future generations mechanisms in governance and strive to make the world a better place for those not yet born.
I am heading to Glasgow with clear asks, influenced by conversations with communities, young people, businesses, public bodies and decision makers. When available, a virtual link to view the sessions below will be shared. Follow us on Twitter for regular COP26 updates.
My COP asks;
The pandemic provides us with an opportunity to pursue a prosperous, green and equal recovery – delivering good quality livelihoods whilst supporting rapid decarbonisation and improving biodiversity in Wales. As highlighted in several reports over the last 12 months including the Fit for the Future Programme for Government, my recommendations are that Welsh Government should:
- Invest in key infrastructure projects in green industries and nature restoration, increasing opportunities for retraining, reskilling and transitioning to changing industries and urgently develop a skills pipeline for a Welsh Retrofit workforce.
- Put in place a longer-term plan for funding the decarbonisation of homes, providing funding for tackling fuel poverty and decarbonising social housing, and working the UK Government to secure additional funds.
- Support the establishment of a National Nature Service for Wales.
- Set out a long-term investment plan of how they will fund the climate emergency and support more ambitious commitments and targets for sectors within their control.
- Assess the carbon impact of their spend, especially capital spend, and should also publish details on the overall carbon impact of their budget and major investment/ infrastructure decisions.
- Ensure that all climate change/decarbonisation strategies progressed also reduce inequalities now and in the future by considering how they may impact on different groups and communities before decisions are made.
- Recognise the overlapping importance of a wide range of policy areas to equalities and climate change/decarbonisation, such as housing, transport, energy, rurality and access to green space.
- The solutions should be tailored to each of the decarbonisation strategies learning from the existing experiences of inequality (i.e. in housing, etc.)
- Involve those affected by climate change and decarbonisation in policy decision making, either through existing platforms or by trialling new ones (e.g. creating citizens forums as part of a just transition approach).
Furthermore, I am calling on governments across the world to adopt future generations legislation to ensure decisions taken today meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Programme (as of October 27th 2021)
- The Future Generations Commissioner is participating in the ‘Intergenerational Inquiry: Youth Stepping up Climate Action’ in partnership with YOUNGO and the UK Government Cabinet Office, alongside the UN Youth Envoy and Jane Goodall. (Blue Zone / 12:00 – 13:30). Other speakers include: Jayathama Wickramanayake (United Nations Secretary-General Envoy on Youth) and Dame Jane Goodall (Primatologist and Anthropologist).
- The Future Generations Commissioner is participating in the ‘Policymaking for Future Generations: A Blueprint for a Green Future’. Hosted by One Young World. (Green Zone: Science Show Theatre – 13:30 – 14:30) More information here. You can find more information about One Young World’s programme here. Sophie will be joined on the panel by Emily-Rose Jenkins (Future Generations Leadership Academy Alumni and employee at Natural Resources Wales),
- The Future Generations Commissioner is attending the ‘Together for Tomorrow: Education and Climate Action’ in the Blue Zone at 16:00 –17:30. The Commissioner is due to share reflections as part of the session. Other speakers include: Rt Hon Alok Sharma (COP26 President), Roberto Cingolani (Italy Minister of Ecological Transition, COP26 Lead)
- The Future Generations Commissioner is participating in a ‘Futures Lab on Governance’ with Nigel Topping (UK High Level Climate Action Champion for UN climate talks, COP26.) in the Blue Zone at 15:00 – 16:30.
- The Future Generations Commissioner is participating at One Young World’s side event ‘Legislating for Future Generations – Sustainable transport’ at 10:00 – 10:45 at The Ferry.
- The Future Generations Commissioner is participating in the ‘Connecting Wales, Youth Voice and COP26’ event hosted by Size of Wales. Green Zone – Tower Base South 12:30 – 14:00. More information here.
- The Future Generations Commissioner is participating in ‘The Health-Climate Nexus: delivering a virtuous cycle of benefits’ event – hosted by Mott MacDonald at the Blue Zone, Resilience Hub. 13:00 – 14:45.
- The Future Generations Commissioner is participating in the ‘No More Greenwash! The One Planet Standard.’ Green Zone: Tower Base South. 15:00 – 16:00.
- ‘Climate, in the Visceral Sense. An Ongoing Story in Three Acts’ Green Zone: Tower Base North, 9:30am – 10:30am. This event is hosted by the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales in partnership with a range of organisations from Wales. It is an opportunity to use culture and the arts to communicate the climate crisis and to inspire innovation and action. Watch this space.
Do you have a story to share? What climate action should we seek to adopt here in Wales? Let us know your thoughts via Twitter using the hashtag #OurFutureWales.