'Uncertain' if public sector can meet climate goal

time:2023-06-03 02:34:42source:BBC News (British Broadcasting Corporation) author:Press center3

Wales' spending watchdog has said it is unclear if the Welsh public sector will achieve a key climate change target.

The Welsh government aims to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

But Audit Wales said only two of the 48 public bodies it had spoken to had worked out how much it would fully cost.

Auditor General for Wales Adrian Crompton said organisations need to do more, while the Welsh government said it would work with the public sector.

The net zero target does not mean eliminating greenhouse gas emissions, but instead balancing them with the amount of gases being removed from the atmosphere.

Audit Wales spoke to 48 public bodies, including the Welsh government, councils and health boards.

It said organisations were at "very different stages" in working up their plans to decarbonise, with over a third still making initial steps of drawing up proposals.

Only two had "fully assessed the financial implications" of meeting the 2030 target, while 31 said they had not.

Public bodies told auditors significant investment was going to be needed.

Audit Wales said organisations would have to think about how they can use existing funds in different ways and share costs with others.

Organisations also said they were lacking specialist skills in reducing and monitoring carbon emissions.

Mr Crompton said: "There's no doubt that public bodies are taking climate change seriously, but they simply need to do more.

"Given the level of uncertainty about whether the collective 2030 ambition will be met, now is the time for bold leadership.

"Organisations need to be innovative, share experiences of their successes and failures and they need to place decarbonisation at the heart of everything they do."

A Welsh government spokesman said: "We welcome the report's recognition of the commitment to carbon reduction in the Welsh public sector.

"Recently published, public sector emissions data is important in identifying areas for urgent progress.

"We will continue to work with the wider public sector to achieve our ambitious goals."

Related content
Recommended content