From today, the Paris Agreement adopted at the COP21 climate summit in December last year will be opened for signatures at the UN Headquarters. With March being another record-breaking month in terms of global temperatures, leaders will need to go to New York with big new commitments for action, to keep warming under 1. 5 C.
Energy used in our homes, including for heating and lighting, is a major contributor to Wales' greenhouse gas emissions. The residential sector is responsible for around a quarter of emissions covered by the 3% annual reduction target for devolved policy areas.
WWF Cymru says a large scale home energy efficiency programme is a key way to demonstrate a strong Welsh commitment to delivering the deal drawn up in Paris.
The global conservation organisation is calling for a major investment programme from the next Welsh Government, and wants Ministers to set a goal that all homes in Wales meet a decent standard (Energy Performance Certificate band C) by 2025.
It says scaling up measures such as fitting loft insulation and more efficient boilers would bring a range of benefits. Research suggests that as well as reducing emissions, a programme of this scale would create thousands of jobs and cut Wales' total energy bill by tens of millions of pounds per year, as well as delivering health benefits .
Jessica McQuade, Policy and Advocacy Officer at WWF Cymru said:
As the world unites to sign an historic climate deal, it's vital that Wales joins all countries in taking action to cut emissions and address this global threat to people and wildlife.
"Making sure everyone in Wales has a warm, well insulated home is one of the most important actions for the next Welsh Government after the elections on 5 May.
"The scale of change needed means this will require significant investment. But the major benefits it will bring - for health, jobs and the environment - means there is a powerful case for making it an infrastructure priority.
"Action on home energy efficiency goes beyond tackling climate change. This joined up approach, with multiple benefits, is central to the thinking behind the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and on delivering its goals. Action on home energy efficiency will be a key test of whether the next Welsh Government is serious about delivering on this agenda."
- ends -
1. More information can be found in the following reports:
- Progress Towards Residential Energy Reduction Targets in Wales, Produced by Energy Saving Trust for WWF Cymru: http://assets.wwf.org.uk/downloads/150724_final_report_copy.pdf
- Building the Future: The economic and fiscal impacts of making homes energy efficient (Verco/Cambridge Econometrics): http://www.energybillrevolution.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Building…
- An Economic Strategy for Wales? (IWA): http://www.iwa.org.uk/en/publications/view/240
2. WWF is one of the world's largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries. Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, creating solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature thrive. Find out more about our work, past and present at wwf.org.uk.
For further information, please contact: Richard Nosworthy | Rheolwr Cyfathrebu - Communications Manager, WWF Cymru, WWF-UK T: +44 (0) 29 20454972 | M: +44 (0)7920 211534
Rhif y cyfryngau/Press phone: +44 (0) 7909 997 846"