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WAG must carbon footprint Assembly budget for a greener Wales - Mick Bates AM

September 29, 2009 2:48 PM

Shadow Minister for the Environment and Sustainability, Mick Bates AM, is calling on the Welsh Government to carbon footprint Assembly spending in key areas. This follows the news that the Scottish Government has recently unveiled the world's first carbon budget, which estimates CO2 emissions for all significant spending areas in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has estimated domestic and imported GHG emissions by portfolio and generating industry, using the 'Input-Output (IO) Model' which takes into account the inter-industry relations of an economy and quantifies the effect of changes in one sector on all others. Using this model it is estimated that the Scottish Government's £33bn spending next year on core services will lead to emissions of 11.4 million tonnes of CO2.

Commenting, Welsh Liberal Democrat Mick Bates stated:

"I am impressed with this innovative action by the Scottish Government, which is an important step towards the development of strong climate policies, enabling them to identify areas of high emissions and target policies to reduce emissions in those areas."

Using the Scottish model it is possible to estimate the production changes which take place in response to output changes required to meet Government spending. An example is spending on "Motorways & Trunk Roads Structural Repairs" which is associated with the outputs of the construction industry, which requires as inputs the use of fuel oil, machinery, raw materials and consumption of electricity.

Mick adds: "The WWF's 'One Planet Wales' report discovered that we are currently living as if we had the natural resources of three planets. Our ecological footprint must be reduced by 75% by 2050 in order to live within our 'fair share' of one planet's resources.

"Wales is one of only two countries in the World to have a legal duty on Sustainable Development. If we are to make progress to reduce our carbon footprint the Welsh Government should follow this excellent example of the Scottish Government and carbon footprint its own budget. This would enable us to target policies to reduce emissions from high polluting areas of the budget, to better achieve our shared aims for a greener and more sustainable Wales."