At this year’s COP28, the world’s nations have for the first time agreed that we must all transition away from fossil fuels. While this is a historic moment for us as global citizens and for our planet, it has failed to capture the urgency of the situation.

We welcome the call to triple renewable energy and to double energy efficiency measures, but we must go further. There are no targets for the phase out of fossil fuels, the most critical action that we must deliver fast. 

While it does not mean the end of fossil fuels just yet, it does mark the beginning of that journey. We must now pursue this at pace and understand the role of every nation, including Wales, in mitigating further global temperature rises while also supporting less developed countries to quickly adapt and transition fairly

At last year’s COP, the world’s nations agreed to establish a joint fund to help developing nations cope with the loss and damage they are already experiencing due to climate change. That fund is now established, and we must waste no more time in distributing these much-needed funds where they are most needed.   

We also put our full support behind the 80 countries that have endorsed a Declaration on Climate, Relief, Recovery and Peace. Now more than ever, we need global solidarity giving our full attention to addressing global climate challenges that are increasingly affecting us all.   

This summer, the (UK) Climate Change Committee recognised that Wales had taken ‘positive steps in Wales, with a welcome focus on skills, jobs and public engagement for the Net Zero transition’ – but said accelerated action is needed to ensure Wales meets its net-zero targets. 

Cymru Can and we will make it our mission at Future Generations Cymru, via our new strategy, to ensure all Welsh public bodies achieve their net zero and nature positive goals by 2030. We want to see public bodies leading action on climate change including adaptation, in a way that reduces inequalities and maximises the benefits to people and communities across Wales.   

Many of the solutions are already known. Levers like procurement, land use planning, financial management and business support must enable the necessary change. We need bold action in Wales and beyond from across all sectors, with more communication and community conversations about the necessary changes ahead. The Well-being of Future Generations Act provides the foundations for our collective ambitions in Wales – across sectors and services. I look forward to working with public bodies and others, with Cymru Can as a guide, as we focus our efforts to support public services in Wales address the climate and nature emergencies.  

Derek Walker, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, will be in conversation with Chris Stark, Chief Executive Officer, Climate Change Committee, for Rising to the Challenge – Wales’ Pathway to Net Zero, an online event by Institute of Welsh Affairs, 10:00-11:30 AM, January 24. Click here for more details. 

Deputy Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, Marie Brousseau-Navarro.