Climate change is undoubtedly the greatest challenge facing humanity today. Our daily headlines may be dominated by extreme weather, rising sea levels, the danger of energy shortages, rising food prices, rampaging inflation, disrupted supply chains, and increasing inequalities – but many of these pressures would be solved or significantly eased by our move to decarbonised economies and well-resourced resilient societies, bringing the benefits of sustainability and greater wellbeing to everyone on the planet.
To help in this mission, Cardiff Capital Region is launching Wales’ first Climate Coalition, with an open-to-all workshop taking place on September 30th – giving every small, medium and large business in Southeast Wales a platform and voice to drive and shape the changes we all need to make, for the future of our region and our world.
The timing of the workshop, following a summer of record high temperatures and economic uncertainty, could not be more prescient – so we spoke with the CCR Climate Coalition team behind this key development, hearing their ambitions for comprehensive collaborative action that will create positive and widespread impact across Southeast Wales and beyond …
“We have to hit a wide range of targets by 2035 to be net zero by 2050.”
“Wales is taking a strong lead in becoming net-zero by 2050” says Rob O’Dwyer, Head of Infrastructure for Cardiff Capital Region “but the reality is that we have to hit a wide range of targets by 2035 if we’re going to make that mid-century milestone.
“The CCR Energy Strategy reflects the urgency and importance of that. By 2035, we’re committed to having 27% of homes enjoying low carbon heating, with 19% using heat pumps, across the region. We’re working towards 64% of cars as ULEV, with 73% of those running as pure electric vehicles. We’re aiming for 50% of our total energy consumption to be powered by renewable electricity, and that means we’ll need to be spending £227 million a year more across all our sectors – 65% more than we’re spending right now – to hit those targets by 2035.”
“Government can only do so much” explains Charlotte Davidson, Transport & Energy Officer for CCR, “and a great deal of the impetus, investment and practical change will need to come from individual enterprises in the private, third and fourth sectors. That’s where CCR can play such a crucial role. The UK Climate Change Committee has shown that local authorities can influence up to a third of carbon emissions in their geographical area – and we know that businesses, communities and individuals in the CCR contributed 33% of all Welsh emissions in 2019 – so CCR is the perfect catalyst for this.”
The CCR Climate Coalition - the perfect catalyst to drive, guide and track a reduction in emissions.
“Climate Coalitions and Climate Commissions are already proven as an effective way to bring together people and organisations from the public, private and civic sectors, to help drive, guide, support and track climate action” says Rhys Owen, Decarbonisation Officer, Cardiff Capital Region.
“Cities such as Belfast, Edinburgh, Leeds and Manchester have already set up area-wide partnerships as independent bodies that complement the activities of local government partnerships – so the CCR Climate Coalition is a trusted pathway to help deliver climate resilience and low carbon transitions.
“We’re here to build awareness of actions that affect the environment, society and the economy – and build-in our region’s greener capacity to hit our targets. We’ll achieve that by creating a network on CCR’s well-established partnerships, increasing collaboration and knowledge sharing to make sure all sectors feel included – and legitimising energy targets so that everyone knows what they have to do.
“That’s why this type of coalition has a ‘halo’ effect, when a group of like-minded enterprises from across all sectors influences positive public opinion and overcomes any obstacles, to the extent that it changes consumer choice and individual behaviours. That’s what we’re about to do, here in Southeast Wales.”
Join the coalition for the benefit of you and everyone
“Similar networks across the UK have already proven this is a great way to be heard, to share best practices, to target improvements and address the whole challenge of climate change” says Ynyr Clwyd of the CCR Climate Coalition team.
“It’s a network that will carry significant weight across the region – and a community that climate-conscious organisations will want to be part of. CCR will be the catalyst for this collaborative approach to the climate emergency – but the overall impact will depend on the breadth and depth of the cross-sector cooperation.
“If we work together, we will have more resilient businesses and more sustainable communities – living in more comfortable homes, enjoying better transport, growing new jobs and skills, nurturing a more inclusive prosperity and building a healthier future for us and the planet. But time is of the essence – and that’s why we want people and organisations to join our coalition right now.”
Click here to register for this workshop on September 30th between 11am-1pm – or if you have any questions or queries, please email: Rhys.Owen@cardiff.gov.uk, Charlotte.Davidson@cardiff.gov.uk or Ynyr.Clwyd@cardiff.gov.uk – and be at the forefront of positive change for your enterprise, our region and the world we live in.