Engagement and Participation

‘Collectively we demand change’ – Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly published recommendations

The Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly has spent the last four weeks designing and deliberating on proposals to tackle climate change in Blaenau Gwent.

The final proposals were presented and voted on during the Assemblies final session on Sunday (28 March).

Five key recommendations were passed with over 80% of the assembly members support across areas such as transport, housing and green spaces including:

  • The establishment of an affordable, integrated road and rail transport system in Blaenau Gwent with a one-ticket system for bus, rail and cycle schemes
  • Establishing safe and easily maintainable infrastructure for walkers and cyclists
  • New training for local tradespeople, qualifications and upskilling to increase green construction skills across the borough
  • Implementing a programme of woodland preservation and reforestation increasing opportunities for jobs, biodiversity and connecting woodlands.
  • Ensure new housing is developed with the latest sustainable techniques

The final report of the Assembly will be published the week of 18 April 2021. A full list of recommendations can be found here.

Michelle Morris, Managing Director, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council said:

“I would like thank everyone who took the time to take part in Wales’ first climate assembly. The Council and Public Service Board welcome the views of local people and their ideas for dealing with the climate crisis.

“Climate change is a global issue and it’s absolutely vital that we act now to protect our environment for the well-being of future generations and the recommendations from the Assembly are vital for us as the Welsh public sector when we develop our long term plans to shape our approach to tackling the challenges ahead.

“We’re already taking a number of actions as part of our Decarbonisation plan to reduce our carbon impact. The 5 recommendations from the Climate Assembly will help us to prioritise our work in a number of key areas and these will make a significant contribution towards our carbon neutral aim.”

Jess Blair, Director, ERS Cymru said:

“The Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly shows what happens when you do politics differently – brining a community together and providing them with the space to deliberate on important issues in their local area. . This was Wales’ first climate assembly but we hope it will not be the last.”

“Citizen participation is vital in local decision making, it brings legitimacy, builds trust and shows that, when given the support, ordinary people can help shape their communities and come up with valuable solutions to important issues.

“Now the assembly is has spoken we look forward to seeing how Blaenau Gwent responds to their recommendations.”

Matt, Participant, Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly said:

“I found the climate assembly a really rewarding experience. I was able to connect with many different types of people from all walks of life within Blaenau Gwent to talk about a common goal.

“Some of the evidence that we talked about certainly shocked me, but it was comforting to know that the solutions are really within our own hands and I’m really looking forward to having our recommendations evaluated, and hopeful some will be taken forward to make a real difference within Blaenau Gwent so that we can really start to see some positive change.”

Sunita, Participant, Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly said:

“Before taking part in the climate assembly, I was aware of the causes and the effects of climate change and have always been passionate about doing everything that I can to make a difference on an individual level.
“I have learnt so much from my experience as an Assembly Member; from recognising that there is a lack of awareness about climate change on a local and national level, to understanding the level of interest and passion from the people of Blaenau Gwent to make things better.

“Collectively we demand change from our council and our government. We urge the council and the governing bodies to listen to our recommendations that we as an assembly decided on and act upon them.

“We will not stop here. We will continue to learn. We will persist to make sure that our voices are heard. We will strive to make a positive difference in our own lives and in the communities around us.”


The assembly, was the first deliberative democratic event of its kind in Wales, brought 50 Blaenau Gwent residents together with expert speakers to develop proposals to address the climate crisis in their area.

The participants have been selected to be demographically representative of the wider Blaenau Gwent community representing the views and backgrounds of the borough’s residents.

Participants spent four weeks hearing from over 20 expert speakers on a range of issues including housing, fuel poverty, transport, nature and green space, jobs and skills before considering the evidence, make and vote on recommendations.

These will be sent to the Blaenau Gwent Public Service Board’s Climate Mitigation Steering Group, who have made a commitment to respond to the recommendations.

Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly

In March 2021, it will bring together 50 people from the Blaenau Gwent area to address the question:

What should we do in Blaenau Gwent to tackle the climate crisis in a way that is fair and improves living standards for everyone?

The participants will hear evidence, discuss the issues, and produce recommendations for what local public service organisations, communities and individuals can do to address the climate crisis. The recommendations made will be considered by organisations including Blaenau Gwent Council and will help to shape the climate plans of local housing associations.

The Climate Assembly will explore the overarching question through learning about, and discussion of related sub-themes including housing, nature / green space and transport.

Lead Experts will present information on climate change and the sub-themes to provide context for the discussions.

The Assembly is being organised by four housing associations in Blaenau Gwent in collaboration with Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Electoral Reform Society, Cynnal Cymru.

A Steering Group has been established to oversee the organisation and format of the Assembly.

Find out more >>

Young people from across Wales come together to debate climate change at the National Assembly

[:en]Young people from all over Wales will be coming together at the Senedd in Cardiff on 21st November to debate climate change in front of Ministers, Assembly Members and representatives from the Future Generations Commissioner’s Office.

“MockCOP” is an event modelled on the UN’s Conference of the Parties (COP), where representatives from countries all over the world meet to negotiate resolutions to tackle climate change. Run jointly by Cardiff based climate change charity Size of Wales and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs (WCIA), MockCOP is an interactive opportunity for young people aged 14-18 to learn about the UN, the annual climate change talks and develop their understanding of international relations  by standing in the shoes of other nations and role playing those nations in the model conference

Regional events have been held across Wales since June, now culminating in the final event being held at the Senedd in Cardiff on 21st November 2019.

As part of the programme, Size of Wales and WCIA will be looking to develop and support young climate change champions across Wales.

Size of Wales Director Elspeth Jones said:

“MockCOP develops young people’s skills, knowledge and confidence on the topic of climate change and encourages them to think about how climate change is affecting people now as well as future generations. This year we have been able to reach even more young people across Wales and support the new curriculum in developing ethical informed citizens with the kind support of the ScottishPower Foundation. Climate Change is a subject many students feel motivated to act upon, and we want to empower young people to feel that they can be part of the solution.”

Eluned Morgan, Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language, will open debate procedures on the 21st November:

 “MockCOP is a fantastic platform for young people to engage with the serious issue of climate change and consider their views from a global perspective. Young people need to be allowed to be creative, put in place their own ideas, develop and experiment with them. MockCOP provides this opportunity to young people to become more informed and engaged about the global challenges and gives them a great opportunity to develop debating and negotiating skills.”

The expansion of the programme has been supported by the of the ScottishPower Foundation. Melanie Hill, Executive Officer and Trustee at the ScottishPower Foundation, said:

“It’s fantastic to see so many young people, who have been engaged with the wider Climate Change Champions project throughout Wales this year, come together at the MockCOP conference here in Cardiff.  The ScottishPower Foundation aims to support talented young people who will be at the forefront of the next generation of experts tasked with developing new solutions to the challenge of climate change.

“It is so inspiring to see these young people being empowered to make their voices heard, and being encouraged to share their great ideas for the future.”

Lesley Griffiths, Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs added:

“Since we declared a climate emergency, earlier this year, young people from across Wales have been at the centre of our national conversation on what urgent action is required to address climate change.

“I was determined young people should be involved in our first ever Wales Climate Conference last month and MokCop will give them another opportunity to have their voices heard at the very highest level.

“I know from speaking with young people across Wales just how engaged and passionate they are about the future our planet. This event will ensure the momentum generated by the Climate Conference is maintained and will provide young people with valuable experience of debating and negotiating resolutions to tackle climate change and benefit future generations.”[:]

World’s Largest Lesson

[:en]The World’s Largest Lesson is part of Project Everyone, a not-for-profit initiative with a mission to make the new UN Sustainable Development Goals better known and as such more effective.

Peter Davies, Commissioner for Sustainable future brought a group of organisation in Wales together to support the World’s Largest Lesson (WLL) and frame it in a Welsh context related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Well-being Goals in the Well-being of Future Generation Act, a recent legislation sealed by the Welsh Government.

Project Everyone’s bold ambition to get the Goals into the hands of seven billion people in seven days will be supported in Wales as the group aim get every school in Wales involved in the project.

The global campaign is led by film-maker and campaigner Richard Curtis, working in partnership with the UN and with the help of some of the world’s biggest brands and global stars to channel the message through radio, film, mobile, online and beyond. The aim of the World’s Largest Lesson is to engage the generation of young people whose choices and creativity, as they grow up over the next 15 years, could make the vision of these goals a reality.

On 12 June 2015 Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales and The Wales We Want hosted a meeting with key organisations in Wales: Project Everyone, Size of Wales, Natural Resources Wales, Keep Wales Tidy, Caerphilly County Borough Council, CFBT Education Trust, Education Dept NPT, Ysgol Gymraeg Ystalyfera, WAGE (Wales Alliance for Global Education), South West and Mid Wales Consortium, The TYF Group, UNICEF, Welsh Government, Welsh Baccalaureate, Fair Trade Wales, Wales Africa Partnership and Pembrokeshire Sustainable Schools.

Project Everyone’s media pack will be available online from 26th June onwards: www.tes.co.uk/worldslargestlesson. This will include:

  • A short animation written by Sir Ken Robinson and produced by Aardman Animations
  • A comic with teachers’ guides available on digital platforms
  • Creative elements with focus on themes and challenges within the goals such as climate change, inequalities, etc
  • Lesson plans – with a support package

WLL is focussing on children in upper primary (age group 8-11yrs) and lower secondary (age group 11-14yrs).

The plan is now to open the project in Wales to interested bodies and to ensure appropiriate materials are translated into Welsh which can then be shared through the WLL website. Schools can register online: www.tes.co.uk/worldslargestlesson/preregistration/

Existing relevant resources

For more information please contact Mari Arthur, Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales: mari@cynnalcymru.com[:cy]Mae Gwers Fwya’r Byd yn rhan o’r Project Everyone, menter ddielw wedi ymrwymo i gynyddu ymwybyddiaeth o Nodau Datblygu Cynaliadwy’r Cenhedloedd Unedig a thrwy hynny wella eu heffeithiolrwydd.

Daeth Peter Davies, Comisiynydd dyfodol cynaliadwy â grŵp o sefydliadau ynghyd yng Nghymru i gefnogi Gwers Fwya’r Byd a’i gosod mewn cyd-destun Cymreig mewn perthynas â Nodau Datblygu Cynaliadwy’r Cenhedloedd Unedig a Nodau Llesiant Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol, deddfwriaeth ddiweddar wedi ei selio gan Lywodraeth Cymru.

Yng Nghymru cefnogir uchelgais feiddgar Project Everyone i gael y Nodau i ddwylo saith biliwn o bobl mewn saith diwrnod wrth i’r grŵp anelu at ennyn diddordeb pob ysgol yng Nghymru yn y prosiect.

Arweinir yr ymgyrch fyd-eang gan y gwneuthurwr ffilmiau, Richard Curtis, sy’n gweithio mewn partneriaeth â’r Cenhedloedd Unedig, a gyda chymorth rhai o frandiau mwya’r byd a sêr byd-eang i sianelu’r neges drwy radio, ffilm, ffonau symudol, ar-lein a thu hwnt. Bwriad Gwers Fwya’r Byd yw ennyn diddordeb cenhedlaeth o bobl ifanc y gallai eu dewisiadau a’u creadigrwydd, wrth iddynt dyfu i fyny yn ystod y 15 mlynedd nesaf, wneud gweledigaeth y nodau hyn yn realiti.

Ar 12fed Mehefin 2015 trefnodd Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales a’r Gymru a Garem gyfarfod gyda sefydliadau allweddol yng Nghymru: Project Everyone, Maint Cymru, Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru, Cadwch Gymru’n Daclus, Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Caerffili, Ymddiriedolaeth Addysg CfBT, Adran Addysg Prawf Medrusrwydd Cenedlaethol (NPT), Ysgol Gymraeg Ystalyfera, Cynghrair Cymru dros Addysg Fyd-eang (WAGE), Consortiwm De Orllewin a Chanolbarth Cymru, Y Grŵp TYF, UNICEF, Llywodraeth Cymru, Bagloriaeth Cymru, Masnach Deg Cymru, Partneriaeth Cymru Affrica ac Ysgolion Cynaliadwy Sir Benfro.

Bydd Pecyn Project Everyone i’r cyfryngau ar gael ar-lein o 26 ain Mehefin:

www.tes.co.uk/worldslargestlesson. Bydd hwn yn cynnwys:

  • Animeiddiad byr wedi ei ysgrifennu gan Syr Ken Robinson ac wedi ei gynhyrchu gan Aardman Animations
  • Comig gyda chanllaw athrawon ar gael ar lwyfannau digidol
  • Elfennau creadigol gyda ffocws ar themâu a sialensiau o fewn y nodau megis newid yn yr hinsawdd, anghydraddoldebau, ayyb.
  • Cynlluniau gwersi – ynghyd â phecyn cefnogi.

Mae Gwers Fwya’r Byd yn canolbwyntio ar blant ysgolion cynradd (8-11 mlwydd oed) ac ysgolion eilradd (11-14 mlwydd oed)

Y cynllun yn awr yw agor y prosiect yng Nghymru i gyrff â diddordeb a sicrhau bod deunyddiau priodol yn cael eu cyfieithu i’r Gymraeg y gellir wedyn eu rhannu drwy wefan Gwers Fwya’r Byd. Gall ysgolion gofrestru ar-lein:

www.tes.co.uk/worldslargestlesson/preregistration/

Adnoddau perthnasol presennol

  • Gwers Fwya’r Byd: www.globalgoals.org/

www.tes.co.uk/worldslargestlesson

Am ragor o wybodaeth os gwelwch yn dda cysylltwch â Mari Arthur, Cynnal Cymru-Sustain Wales: mari@cynnalcymru.com[:]

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