Comparing climate policies for the 2015 election
Plaid Cymru is the party of Wales, a country that was at the forefront of the industrial revolution; possessing massive coal reserves and boasting more than its share of leading industrialists, it helped herald the beginnings of the fossil fuel age. So, how does Plaid Cymru suggest Wales can again help lead the way in tackling climate change?
- Does your party’s climate policy accept the urgency of the evidence as defined by the recent 5th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report, and if implemented, how will it avoid the crucial 2°C average global temperature rise?
They say they will introduce “a ‘Climate Change Act for Wales’ to set feasible but challenging greenhouse gas reduction targets” but unfortunately this does not refer to being an evidence based target. They say “We want a greener Wales”. They say the want a Wales which is “more sustainable”. Anyone could say that. What is urgently needed is statement of the evidence they are working from, then a quantified decarbonisation goal based on the science.
[Score: Low. Sorry Plaid – too vague considering what’s at stake]
- They recognise the energy resources within Wales should be owned by the people of Wales, but sadly no mention of Wales’ emissions legacy and responsibility to show international leadership on climate.How does your party’s policy take into account the historical legacy of UK carbon emissions?
- How does your party’s policy reflect the leadership required to catalyse an agreement at the UNFCCC negotiations in Paris 2015?
No direct mention of the Paris summit or the historic role of Wales and energy and the leadership opportunities that offers
- Does your party’s climate policy recognise that there are already more fossil fuels on the books of the big energy companies that we can safely burn – so adding more simply makes the problem worse?
Plaid have a clear aim to transfer investment in the extraction of fossil fuels to renewable energy, which is good, but again some targets would give confidence. They have called for a moratorium on fracking.
[Score: Good, they clearly recognise the need to divest]
- How does your party’s policy rise to the challenge of achieving ‘net-zero’ emissions, as outlined in the IPCC’s 5th assessment report, and set a clear decarbonisation timeline for the UK?
To our surprise there is no mention of a net zero emissions goal.
- How does your climate policy recognise the massive renewable resources available in and around the UK, and the potential for jobs and economic returns in harvesting them?
They make it clear they will “make sure we have the energy we need through careful use of resources and prioritising renewable sources and by introducing the not-for-profit Ynni Cymru, which will put our energy and resources in our hands”. This is an excellent approach to increasing energy democracy and equity.
Their are clearly some good and some radical policies, particularly on energy democracy, but in comparison with others political party manifestos there are fewer clear evidence-based targets.