The Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) Cabinet has today (June 28th 2021) agreed to participate in the global Race to Zero campaign and Carbon Disclosure Project, supporting its commitment for a carbon neutral economy and society in South East Wales.
Both global initiatives will further inform the Energy Vision for Cardiff Capital Region, which was created in collaboration with the Welsh Government Energy Service (WGES) and was approved by Regional Cabinet in December 2019. That vision is:
“…to create the conditions for a transition to a carbon neutral economy and society in the CCR, using low carbon energy as an enabler of economic regeneration, growing our regional income whilst maintaining guardianship of our environment through a laser-focus on clean growth”
CCR’s subsequent work has spanned over 100 different stakeholders and groups in an endeavour to create a set of priorities and action plans that put the region on a pathway to achieving net zero by 2050. Those priorities include the progressive ambitions for the region’s sustainable energy future detailed in the Energy section of the CCR’s new Investment Prospectus: Prosperity in our Place – with additional commitments agreed today to attend COP26 (the global United Nations summit being held in Glasgow this November to explore how countries can best tackle climate change) and tangible call-to-actions by the CCR Cabinet to participate in the Race to Zero and Carbon Disclosure campaigns.
CCR’s Race to Zero and Carbon Disclosure Collaboration
CCR will attend the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference as part of SWITCH – South Wales Industrial Transition from Carbon Hub. This unique academic-industrial-business collaboration aims to decarbonise the industrial base and communities in the region; with CCR’s participation at the Summit providing the platform to contribute to key discussions, build an international decarbonisation network, exhibit the CCR Energy Vision & Strategy in a conference setting – and make a meaningful contribution in light of the UK’s G7 presidency.
As part of the COP26 commitment, the CCR Cabinet has agreed to apply to be part of Race to Zero – a global campaign focused on rallying leadership across business, cities, regions and investors to create a healthy, resilient and zero carbon recovery that unlocks sustainable and inclusive growth. CCR joins 708 cities, 24 regions, c.2400 businesses, 163 global investors and 624 HE institutions in the Race to Zero – and this is no passive commitment: demanding that minimum criteria must be met, backed by pledges, formal support and publication of a robust plan. This represents a significant challenge in terms of timeframes – but signing up to this global endeavour signifies the City Region’s serious commitment to Net Zero.
Beyond the Race to Zero commitment, full endorsement was also given by Cabinet for CCR to sign up to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP): a worldwide environmental disclosure system that helps cities, regions and companies disclose their environmental data and impact. CDP is a globally recognised reporting framework that allows local governments to present one unified platform for climate reporting – streamlining the process of reporting and ensuring simplicity and standardisation.
Kellie Beirne, Director, CCR City Deal, welcomed the endorsements as clear alignments with the CCR ambition to meet the decarbonisation targets for South East Wales:
“We can only achieve our transformation by taking a seriously integrated and truly regional approach to both the challenges posed by climate change and the opportunities open to us through the net zero agenda. So I’m delighted that we have a unanimous formal endorsement to apply to be part of the Race to Zero campaign and Carbon Disclosure Project. Both of these global collaborations will undoubtedly shine a harsh spotlight on the substantive challenges we need to face in our collective endeavours; but they also illuminate the determination we have to create a decarbonised CCR that can build a prosperous future in a sustainable world.”
Huw David, Cabinet member and Chair of the CCR Transport Authority, noted how presence at COP26 and striving to become part of two significant global decarbonisation initiatives would add further momentum to the implementation of the CCR Energy Strategy:
“Our Vision and proposed Strategy is already agreed and published so we now need to push ourselves in testing our thinking, refining our programmes and communicating our progress to every stakeholder in the region, throughout Wales, across the UK – and indeed across the world. This is all about doing our bit to build and share in a sustainable future – we need to ‘own’ it and be seen as the engine for transformation for a region that’s home to nearly half the Welsh population and 50% of the economic output of Wales.”