Engagement and Participation

Wales in 2051 – Green Skills

In this mini-series, told through six characters, we explore what the world could look like in a healthy, collaborative, and inclusive future where governing structures have adapted to fit a way of life that supports planetary boundaries and fair treatment of all people, with well-being as the focus for measuring societal success.

Inspired by CAST’s social visions of low-carbon futures report, the manifesto by the Ministry of Imagination, Ciprian Sipos’ posts about future jobs, and Climate Outreach, we hope to show readers that everyone can play a huge role in achieving a sustainable present and future.

More importantly, through these stories, we want to focus on the role of skills and enabling environments to illustrate that we need all kinds of ideas, people, and institutions working together as one creative hive mind.

Our first set of stories has been developed by Camille Løvgreen and Dr Karolina Rucinska as part of their work on green skills, alongside a series of events and advice sessions.

Here is what they said:

“Nothing moves us like a good story. Through storytelling, we can imagine the future we are working towards, build hope and momentum, and come together to take collective action. These six characters and their setting let us talk, creatively, about big ideas without using big words. This makes it possible for everyone to see how they fit into the current and future world visions”

Karolina

“The idea of exploring these characters  through an imagined society with different operating structures and a different priority on the way we live is not only to imagine what a healthy coexistence between people and planet may look like, but to explore how quality of life can improve with a deeper connection to the people around us.”

Camille

Setting the scene

It’s 2051, just a year after what leaders of the past called the Net Zero deadline. Although the emissions continued to reduce over the decades, only a few benefited from the shift to low-carbon economies. Why? Worldwide, the transition was a disaster. There was a lack of planning, of imagination and foresight, of inclusion and system thinking… Everything that was not meant to happen…happened. Between 2024 and 2035, the world experienced mass unemployment, instability, closure of borders, the collapse of ecosystems, barren agricultural fields, reversal of human rights, and the collapse of economies.

A year after the big two-oh-five-zero, a leading news agency correspondent visited nations worldwide to see how they were doing. Most people had forgotten what 2050 was about, but a few remembered.

Welcome to Wales in 2051

Meet our characters

The stories are viewed through the eyes of the narrator, a journalist who sets the scene through a message sent to the editors of a leading news agency about their tour around Wales in…2051!

Starting with Adi, each story introduces a new character who describes their day. Each story leads onto the next, showing how we are all connected directly and indirectly and can positively influence each other’s lives.

Adi – a civil engineer with an expertise in environmental resilience

Cameron – a young school boy, friend of Adi and son of Luke

Luke – a family man and business owner

Aman – a community farmer

Cleo – a doctor

Gwen-Eddo – a policy-maker

Wales in 2051 – Green Skills Read More »

How does my job relate to nature?

Why holding a space for nature-connection is my dream job

Our Sustainability Trainer Sara Wynne-Pari discusses her sustainability journey.

Growing up in rural North Wales has greatly influenced my love for nature and my dedication to protecting the natural environment. Although I’ve worked across a wide variety of disciplines, nature and biodiversity have been a constant underlying theme. I enjoy helping others on their sustainability journey and being a good environmental communicator, able to understand and tailor discussions to individual needs, has been integral to my work.

This passion for both nature and communication has led me to be the lead trainer and project manager for  Nature Wise, our eco-literacy training programme. I also develop content and deliver bespoke nature-based training to help organisations improve their understanding of the nature crisis and recognise ways they can take action to reverse it. 

I’m currently studying an IEMA-accredited MSc in Environmental and Business Management at Bangor University. Although I was nervous to return to education two decades after my bachelor’s degree, I have found the experience re-energising. It is rewarding to develop my own knowledge but also great to be able to apply all the experience and insights I have gained to what I’m learning.

When I’m not working, you’ll find me exploring the beaches of Ynys Mon, waiting for the cuckoo’s return to Nant Ffrancon, looking for new swimming spots or riding my electric bike through Eryri (Snowdonia). Delivering the NatureWise course has given me an even deeper respect and connection to nature and I feel very lucky to be able to hold a space for others to explore this through the course.  

Nature Wise is a science-based, action-focused course to help participants understand the relationships between people and natural systems. It shares knowledge, builds understanding and provides the tools to motivate and catalyse action. 

We can’t live without nature — it provides us with the essentials for life, such as clean air, water, and food, and greatly contributes to our physical and mental wellbeing. It is our best ally in the fight against climate change. 

There’s a way we can all incorporate nature into our work – of course planting trees and volunteering outdoors is important but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. There are lots of other ways we can help, for example, you could become a nature champion at work, sharing tips and ideas with your colleagues; encouraging your organisation to incorporate wildlife corridors and pollinating plants around your business sites or incorporating biodiversity considerations into your procurement process. 

Unsure of how you can implement any of that in your role? Worried you don’t have the right influence, or can’t figure out the steps to getting there?

Join us for the Nature Wise eco-literacy course! We will provide you with information, ideas and inspiration. We also offer bespoke courses for any organisations who would like more tailored content.

Sara Wynne-Pari is one of our Sustainability Trainers. She leads Nature Wise eco-literacy training, regularly running Nature Wise for Work which helps you understand your human-nature relationship as it fits in with your job role, and how you can improve your work’s relationship to nature via achievable goals.

How does my job relate to nature? Read More »

A large wave crashes onto the edge of the pier with a visible lighthouse in Porthcawl.

National Infrastructure Commission for Wales (NICW) launches research project into climate change and engagement with the public

This week NICW has launched a new climate research project run by Cynnal Cymru to explore how climate change is communicated to communities. Over five months, the research team will analyse current trends and meet with communities to ultimately help public bodies engage better with the public to manage long-term climate risks.

Climate change is a serious issue that will transform landscapes worldwide, including Wales. The impact will be particularly significant here in Wales, where 60% of the population and the infrastructure we depend on are located in coastal areas. Many communities in these areas are situated below the high tide line, and rising sea levels and increased storms will gradually erode coastlines at a rate of 20-67m every 100 years. This rate is expected to increase to 82-175m depending on the level of carbon emissions.

However, rising sea levels are not the only change that the people of Wales will experience. Prolonged heat waves, heavy storms, and droughts might become the new norm, posing significant challenges to everyone. Therefore, it is essential to consider these impacts when maintaining and upgrading the infrastructure, which is often over 200 years old.

It is also crucial to recognise that the likelihood and severity of these risks will increase in the coming decades. Public bodies, the Welsh Government, and other important stakeholders must make critical decisions on responding to this risk, which may require responding to this risk and ensuring that communities are also engaged in the difficult decisions around planning and investment.

About the Project

The new project launched on November 6, 2023 and is set to end in March 2024. Its main objective is to help public bodies make better decisions and engage with the public to manage long-term climate risks. This learning will be applied to other climate threats as well. The project will focus on engaging those who are directly or indirectly affected by the risks, as well as the wider public, who may be affected in the future by the use of our nation’s infrastructure assets or in their homes. 

To accomplish these goals, the project will analyse current and emerging data about climate threats and ways to communicate these threats through interviews with stakeholders, including the NICW. Additionally, the analysis of the call for evidence, which is currently open, will be considered. Ultimately, this is a scoping project that aims to assist NICW in establishing a wider research program for 2024/2025 and provide recommendations on governance.

Cynnal Cymru, a sustainable development charity, was chosen to run the project due to their innovative approach to how the public, including policymakers, can act in the face of uncertainty.

Cynnal Cymru

“We are excited to contribute to this important initiative by providing direct insight on climate, engagement, and decision-making to those whose decisions will directly impact the well-being of communities in Wales”.

Helen Armstrong 

“We commissioned this project because we wanted to be pushed and challenged about how we think and communicate climate change with the public and decision-makers in Wales.” 

Steve Brooks 

“Climate change affects us all, but its effects vary across Wales and we want to ensure diverse voices are part of our strategy.” 

About the National Infrastructure 

The National Infrastructure Commission for Wales (NICW) was established in 2018 as an independent, non-statutory advisory body to Welsh Ministers. Its key purpose is to analyse, advise and make recommendations on Wales’ longer-term strategic economic and environmental infrastructure needs over a 5-80-year period. Welsh Ministers have recently set the NICW a new remit for this Senedd term which includes investigating and making recommendations to the Welsh Government on climate change resilience.  

About Cynnal Cymru 

Since 2002, Cynnal Cymru has paved the way for sustainable development in Wales. We aim to help organisations create a fairer and more secure future for all through training, consultancy, research, and facilitation. A fair and secure future is sustainable and climate literate, which is why we provide training and consultancy as a partner of the Carbon Literacy Project and across other sustainability areas. Our Fair Work team help businesses create fairer working practices as the Welsh accreditor of the real Living Wage. 

National Infrastructure Commission for Wales (NICW) launches research project into climate change and engagement with the public Read More »

What inspires you to take action on the climate and nature crisis?

“I’m really excited about the future if we tackle these crises in a positive way. We’ve lost so much biodiversity in Britain. And in my lifetime, if we could see that natural spectacle come back, what a wonderful future we could create.” (Dan)

“There’s a trillion planets but as far as we know, we are on the only one that can sustain life! It just proves how precise the conditions need to be for life. And you know, climate change, it’s not about the planet: it’s about life, here.” (Carys)

“As a kid, I enjoyed playing in nature. It’s so important for confidence, learning about yourself. And that’s only going to be possible for kids in the future if they don’t have to worry about how resilient the environment is.” (Gethyn, Ecologist)

“I was born in rural France and I can see all this change. If we don’t make a difference now, then the world we live in will be so different, so dangerous for the future generation. Think about that! We have to sort it out.”

“We’re helping to decarbonise Wales one business at a time so they can have a good carbon footprint and a solid carbon reduction plan because it just makes perfect sense.” (Dave, Auditel)

“I think the vegan movement and a more plant based lifestyle is a way that is going to help propel us into a more conscious future.” (Carly)

“It’s my duty of care as a teacher to have an interest in sustainability and make sure it has a direct impact in education and on future generations.” (Mary)

“I’m involved primarily for my and others’ future generations. But also because it’s the sensible way to live” (Ceri)

“I’m of the insect-splattered windscreen generation. My children have no concept of it; it’s declined by 80% in my lifetime. It’s the proverbial canary in the coalmine. Halting and reversing the moving baseline is what inspires me.” (Ben, Woop Woop Magazine)

“The time is now to think and work collectively to envision a brighter and environmentally just world. Join the conversation to realise a better planet and collective future. We need to move beyond doom and imagine what is possible.” (Louise)

“SMEs account for over half of the UKs economy and I feel a sense of honour and privilege in playing a part in a more sustainable commercial future.” (Louis, Web Marketer UK)

“My belief that we have a moral obligation to leave the world a better place was strengthened when I travelled & experienced the impact of climate change first hand. Now I use my unique skillset to try to reverse the damage that’s been done” (Ant, Motion Manor)

“When you have a home planet that has everything in it to help you live a good life, it makes sense to look after it. It’s self care – for us as a species who have the good fortune to exist in this bountiful ecosystem.” (Sylvia, Cynnal Cymru)

What inspires you to take action on the climate and nature crisis? Read More »

Wales Net Zero 2035 Challenge Group Launches First Challenge: How could Wales feed itself by 2035?

The world is experiencing the disastrous impacts of the climate crisis and is currently off track to avert further impacts.  Leading scientists recently issued what they called “our final warning”. The Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru have jointly invited an independent group to explore how the country can speed up its transition to net zero, and how amending its target to 2035 from 2050 could be made possible. 

The ‘Group’, led by former Environment Minister Jane Davidson, is tasked with: 

  • finding the best examples of transformative change from Wales and around the world and bringing them to Wales; 
  • challenging the Welsh government and Senedd (Welsh Parliament) to go further and faster; 
  • imagining what a fairer, more sustainable future looks like for the Welsh nation. 

Will Evans, 10th generation farmer from Wrexham and member of the Group said: 

“I am deeply concerned about the impact of climate change on farming in the UK and across the world, that’s why I am proud and excited to be part of this national conversation on how Wales can blaze a trail for action and adaptation to safeguard a future for our children.” 

10th generation farmer Will Evans, is proud of his work. Yet he has grave concerns about the future of farming in Wales and the future for his daughters in the face of climate change. He is aware that farming needs to change and this provides a huge opportunity. He has recently joined the newly formed Wales Net Zero 2035 Challenge Group, chaired by ex-environment minister Jane Davidson to help ensure farming and the food system in Wales is fit for the future. The Group is formally launching its work today, with a first challenge to explore how Wales could feed itself by 2035

Jane Davidson, Chair, said: 

“Setting up the challenge group shows that the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru “get” the graveness of our global situation and are serious about how we can lessen the impacts and prepare for the future.” 

The Group is looking for the most imaginative solutions to inform 10-year deliverable plans from 2025 to 2035.  

It will be seeking views from Wales and the world; making draft conclusions public to openly put them to the test in Wales and beyond, before making recommendations to the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru in summer 2024.  

Jane Davidson added:

“I challenge anybody with big ideas about how to reach net zero by 2035 – whilst also making sure that we support communities in Wales and deliver better outcomes for nature – to respond to our calls for evidence.” 

The Group will be wanting to hear from people and communities across Wales and the world to listen to their experiences and ideas, across a range of key challenges. The first challenge, being launched today, is How could Wales feed itself by 2035? 

The first challenge’s call for views and evidence also launches today and is expected to run for two months, closing on the 30th June. The launch dates for further challenges will be announced in due course. The Group’s work is scheduled to run until summer 2024. 

The Group is made up of 25 independent, unpaid members and includes representatives from the Welsh Youth Parliament. 

The five Net Zero 2035 Challenges are: 

  1. How could Wales feed itself by 2035?  
  2. How could Wales meet energy needs by 2035 whilst phasing out fossil fuels?   
  3. How could Wales heat and build homes and workplaces by 2035?  
  4. How could people and places be connected across Wales by 2035?  
  5. What could education, jobs and work, look like across Wales by 2035? 

Visit the new website netzero2035.wales for more details >>

For more information, contact Stanley Townsend

Please follow the new Wales Net Zero for updates on their work at:
Twitter @WNZ2035
Mastodon @WNZ2035@toot.wales
Linkedin Wales Net Zero 2035

Wales Net Zero 2035 Challenge Group Launches First Challenge: How could Wales feed itself by 2035? Read More »

Foundational Economy Community of Practice Research

Place-based studies

Several deep-dive studies have been undertaken to understand the dynamics behind different areas and their populations and to explore the approaches needed to develop strong foundational economies and well-being.

Small towns, big issues: aligning business models, organisation, imagination (2021).

Luca Calafati, Julie Froud, Colin Haslam, Sukhdev Johal and Karel Williams. Foundational Economy Research for Welsh Government’s Home and Places Division and Education and Public Services Group

Download the paper from Foundational Economy Research on aligning business models, organisation and imagination

The business potential of the foundational economy in the south Wales valleys (2020).

Bevan Foundation.  

A report, funded by Welsh Government’s Foundational Economy Challenge Fund, drawing lessons from interviews with businesses of the foundational economy across three communities in the south Wales valleys – Cwmafan, Treharris and Treherbert. Authors conclude that across all communities, there are businesses with potential to grow from micro and small businesses into successful SMEs. The authors argue that, given the types of businesses that exist in the south Wales valleys, developing the foundational economy requires a different approach to past economic measures. They suggest support tailored and targeted to micro businesses, with more effective communication between business, support services, local and Welsh Government and addressing the lack of availability for premises suitable for expansion including conversion of empty properties. A sister report published by the Bevan Foundation, Consumer spending in the foundational economy (2021), Lloyd Jones looks at the foundational economy within the same communities but from the perspective of the consumer. 

Download the paper from the Bevan Foundation on the business potential of the foundational economy in the south Wales valleys

Download the sister report from the Began Foundation on consumer spending in the foundational economy

Enabling renewal: future education and building better citizenship, occupations and business communities in Wales (2020).

John Buchanan, Julie Froud, Mark Lang, Caroline Lloyd, Bruce Smith and Karel Williams. foundational economy.com for ColegauCymru 

Download the paper from foundationaleconomy.com on future education and building better citizenship, occupations and business communities in Wales

How an ordinary place works: understanding Morriston (2019).

Luca Calafati, Jill Ebrey, Julie Froud, Colin Haslam, Sukhdev Johal and Karel Williams. foundational economy.com 

Research aiming to understand how Morriston, Swansea works to deliver well-being to the people who live there. Authors argue that this well-being depends on the functioning of foundational services and that understanding a place using metrics of well-being, rather than traditional economic metrics, can support new policy to tackle to liveability issues that truly matter to citizens. In this vein, the authors provide policy ideas for a town plan to revitalise Morriston’s social infrastructure.   

Download the paper on foundationaleconomy.com on how an ordinary place works: understanding Morriston

Place-based studies Read More »

How the CLCC is breaking down barriers in climate education

Since its inception, 75 members have become trainers and 157 individuals have certified as carbon literate. CLCC’s Project Lead (Luke Penny) and Facilitator (Fiona Humphreys) were interviewed by Abi Hoare Development Officer at Cynnal Cymru to share the story behind the collaboration.

What is the CLCC?

Carbon Literacy Cartrefi Cymru (CLCC) is a consortium of 27 different housing associations in Wales, which have individually contributed resources to increase Carbon Literacy throughout Welsh social housing.

Through peer-to-peer delivery, the project provides the tools necessary for individual tenants to understand the causes and consequences of climate change, as well as empower them to act upon their choices. At the close of 2021, 75 trainers were involved, and 157 individuals had been certified as Carbon Literate, even though most independent courses weren’t due to start until 2022.

What is a consortium?

Effectively, a consortium is a formal collaboration, where people work together to achieve a common objective. In this instance, the common objective is to certify as many Carbon Literate individuals as possible within housing associations – both staff and tenants.

How does it work?

Each of the housing associations involved have contributed resources to fund the development of Carbon Literacy delivery within their individual organisations. Currently, 75 staff members have attended Cynnal Cymru’s ‘Train the Trainer’ course to support their teaching.

Even though the delivery is down to the trainer’s own discretion, participants will typically receive a day’s worth of virtual peer-to-peer learning, before submitting an evidence form to become certified. This will feature two pledges that will have a positive effect on carbon reduction at home and in their workplace/ with a group.

What is its main advantage?

Firstly, it removes the ‘us and them’ narrative that dampens climate activism and makes it inaccessible. One of the difficulties with climate change discourse, is that it’s difficult to know where to start if you have no formal education.

By providing Carbon Literacy training through housing associations, the course can give individuals the starting block they need that they may not have had the time, money, or knowledge to access otherwise.

How has working in collaboration increased action on Carbon Literacy?

In simple terms, by training new trainers, more individuals can take part in the Carbon Literacy Project than before. Not to mention, the resulting network and Communities of Practice are providing moral support that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.

The energy and excitement of the CLCC’s trainers is what makes all the difference, so having a safe space to share experiences and challenges has helped significantly.

What role does Cynnal Cymru play in the consortium?

Cynnal Cymru acts purely within a secretariat and facilitator role. It has no specific requirements within the project, besides its initial creation and providing the necessary tools and support. What housing associations and trainers choose to do with Carbon Literacy beyond that is entirely their own decision.

What’s next for the CLCC?

A second version of the course is currently in development based upon the feedback received in the Communities of Practice, but the next big step is translating the course and delivering it entirely in Welsh.

In time, there is the possibility of starting new Carbon Literacy consortiums in different sectors or industries where Cynnal Cymru are available to offer that inception and on-going support role.

How the CLCC is breaking down barriers in climate education Read More »

Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly report and recommendations published

The Assembly was held virtually over two weekends in March and brought together over 40, randomly selected, demographically representative, people living in the county borough to deliberate the very important 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 Climate Assembly adopted five recommendations relating to transport, housing and green space, which achieved over 80% support. These recommendations were written by the Assembly members themselves and informed by presentations from climate change experts.

You can view the recommendations and the report in full here

This report was drafted by Cynnal Cymru and the Electoral Reform Society Cymru, two of the organising partners of the Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly.

In September last year the Council officially declared a Climate Emergency in Blaenau Gwent. Next week, all borough councillors will have the opportunity to hear from Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly members about their recommendations and consider how they can take this agenda forward.

The Blaenau Gwent Public Services Board, which brings together organisations including the council, health, housing, police and the voluntary sector, have committed to giving a written response to these recommendations at their next meeting in July. This reflects Public Services Board partners’ long-term commitment to Blaenau Gwent playing its full part in taking action to achieve Wales’s target for Net Zero emissions by 2050.

Cllr Dai Davies, the Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Regeneration & the Economic Development, will be leading the briefing. He says:

“We are absolutely committed as a Council to working with a wide range of partners to do whatever we can to respond locally to this global issue. We recognise the huge challenges that are ahead of us all in trying to protect our environment for the well-being of our future generations. This is why as a Local Authority we declared a Climate Emergency and already started to act through our Decarbonisation Plan. This plan sees us take a more strategic approach towards achieving carbon neutrality by prioritising work in a number of key areas of our operations which, with some changes, can make a significant contribution towards our carbon neutral aim.

“The people at the Climate Assembly were equally passionate about our environment and their recommendations will help to focus our minds even further and tells us what they think is key to tackling this issue. Thank you to everyone who took part for your time.”

The report will also be presented to the Blaenau Gwent Public Services Board, as working with regional partners is key to addressing environmental issues.

Sarah Hopkins, Director, Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales, says:

“The transition to net zero will mean changes to people’s lives so it is vital that communities understand and participate in this journey. Tackling the climate crisis, provides an opportunity to address existing inequalities in Wales and improve lives for everyone. It is really encouraging to see the commitment of Blaenau Gwent Council, the wider PSB and the Housing Associations to listening and responding to the recommendations from the Assembly.

“We hope that other regions in Wales will also adopt similar processes to inform decarbonisation action plans.”

Steve Cranston, Foundational Economy Lead at United Welsh Housing says:

“We are delighted to have been involved in Wales first climate assembly. It shows it is possible to bring a representative sample of people together – and address one of the toughest challenges facing us all – the climate crisis. The Climate Assembly process is one that is respectful of different opinions and builds trust. The top 5 recommendations had overwhelming 80% support from members. This gives these recommendations a weight and credibility that is hard to ignore.

“The process of working together across housing associations, the local authority, civil society organisations and citizens has been a positive one where relationships have been strengthened and trust built.

“The four housing associations who supported the Climate Assembly – Linc Cymru, Melin Homes, Tai Calon and United Welsh – are working on developing a coordinated response to the recommendations. In the key areas of housing retrofit and new build the recommendations will help shape our future priorities.”

The Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly was organised by housing associations United Welsh; Linc Cymru Melin Homes and Tai Calon in partnership with sustainable development charity Cynnal Cymru, Blaenau Gwent Council and ERS Cymru.

The 5 recommendations are:

Transport

  1. Establish an affordable, integrated road & rail transport system accessible throughout BG. A one ticket system that links to bus, rail & cycle schemes – inclusivity for purchasing of tickets (digital or paper). Accessible all hours with safety via lighting, CCTV and to keep maintained.
  2. Establish & improve a safe, easily maintainable infrastructure for walkers & cyclists, for either recreational or work purposes, with access to the public transport network. Including lighting & CCTV & storage for bikes.

Housing

  1. Retrofit Train local tradespeople, create qualifications and upskill local businesses, involve FE colleges and local Universities, future proof it and provide the right courses to enable them to do the work in all green construction.

Green Space and Nature

  1. Implement a programme of woodland preservation and reforestation of BG, using the right tree in the right place for the right reason, increasing opportunities for jobs, biodiversity and connecting woodlands. Making sure the skills are available so we can create green jobs, e.g. saw milling and timber framed housing.

Housing New Build

  1. Ensure that all new build properties are built using the latest sustainable technologies (e.g. Glanffrwd development as a template), employing local builders and providing a variety of accommodation types appropriate for all inc. homeless/single occupancy up to large families.

Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly report and recommendations published Read More »

Illustration of Blaenau Gwent area

Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly Report

The Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly was held from 6 – 28 March 2021.

The Assembly took place online via Zoom. 50 residents of Blaenau Gwent were selected by sortition 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?”

44 participants attended the first assembly session and 43 participants were present at the final session for voting on recommendations.

Attendance was stable throughout all sessions with 43 being the lowest attendance.

The members met for a total of 23 hours to hear evidence from over 20 different experts, discuss the issues, and produce recommendations for what local public service organisations, communities and individuals could do to address the climate crisis and improve lives for people in Blaenau Gwent.

The assembly members explored the following themes in the learning phase:
• Introduction to climate change
• Issues of fairness and the just transition
• How change happens
• Housing – retrofit, new build, fuel poverty, jobs & skills
• Nature and green space
• Transport

The agenda, videos of sessions and additional questions for speakers can be found on the website.

Download the report.

Blaenau Gwent Climate Assembly Report Read More »

‘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.

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

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