Tackling Climate Change in the Vale of Glamorgan
In response to the declaration of a Climate Emergency by the Welsh Government, with the support of Natural Resources Wales, and the declaration of a Climate Emergency in the Vale of Glamorgan by the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Public Services Board partners have worked together to develop a Climate Emergency Charter.
Vale of Glamorgan PSB Climate Emergency Charter
The Charter brings together a number of actions through which partners can work together to Lead by Example and Take Positive Action on Climate Change and to Reduce our Impact on the environment.
The Case For Change:
Climate change is caused by a build-up of greenhouse gases in the earth’s atmosphere which leads to a rise in the earth’s temperature. As global temperatures continue to rise this means a range of damaging consequences including heatwaves, more intense rainfall and the oceans will continue to warm and acidify and sea levels will rise. Severe, and irreversible impacts on people and ecosystems are also more likely and globally, there will be more shortages of food and water and increased coastal flooding.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has estimated that temperature rises caused by greenhouse gases will lead to significant challenges across the world:
- At 1.5C, over 70% of coral reefs will die, but at 2C, all reefs over 99% will be lost.
- Insects, vital for pollination of corps and plants, are likely to lose half of their habitat at 1.5C but this becomes almost twice as likely at 2C.
- The Arctic Ocean being completely bare of sea ice in the summer would be a once per century likelihood at 1.5C but this leaps to a once a decade likelihood at 2C.
- Over 6 million people currently live in coastal areas vulnerable to sea-level rise at 1.5C, and at 2C, this would affect 10 million people by the end of this century.
- Sea-level rise will be 100 centimetres higher at 2C than at 1.5C.
- The frequency and intensity of droughts, storms and extreme weather events are increasingly likely above 1.5C.
Our work to take forward our charter will incorporate and work alongside our work to deliver the Vale Healthy Travel Charter, the FoodVale Partnership and the Move, More, Eat, Well Plan. We will monitor and report progress against the Charter to ensure that we are working positively to address the Climate Emergency in the Vale of Glamorgan.
The global Covid-19 pandemic has led to many changes in how we work, how we provide services and how we live our lives. These changes will make us consider what to focus on to tackle the climate emergency as we look to achieve a sustainable climate and nature friendly recovery. We have the opportunity to build on the gains made during the pandemic and recognise the huge impact nature and the environment have on our physical and mental, wellbeing.
As we develop our proposals for work in 2020-21 we will review where we can have the greatest positive impact and contribute to delivery on the South Central Area statement themes. The PSB face the challenge of ensuring that the road to recovery is green and that we work together to ensure that the changes in behaviour that we want to keep are supported. For example, retaining elements of increased home working, online services and a reduction in car journeys alongside development of alternative sustainable travel and changes to how we manage our buildings, waste and energy use. In addition, we will need to rethink how we involve people in a community conversation to ensure it is safe, meaningful and reflects changes as a result of the pandemic.
Tackling climate change remains a priority for the PSB and in reflecting on the learning over recent months, we can progress how we contribute to reducing and adapting to climate change and deliver on our ambitions for the Vale.