A Decarbonisation Handbook for Wales

3 November 2021

As the global community is meeting for the next two weeks in Glasgow to discuss climate change at  COP26, the news will be filled with stories of new plans, pledges, and agreements to address the massive challenge of decarbonisation.

Countries are working both independently, and together to establish achievable ways to reduce and/or off-set carbon emissions. Wales is actively engaged in this agenda, being the first country to declare a Climate Emergency in April 2019, and Welsh Government launched its Net Zero Wales Plan on 28 October 2021.

While most appreciate all this as welcome news, it is very easy to be overwhelmed by the stats, figures, and targets, especially if one is not actively involved in the field. It can be even more difficult to tease out the details for a small nation like Wales, which is often lumped in with the UK in general reporting. 

With this in mind, we compiled A Decarbonisation Handbook for Wales as part of our Infuse programme. Supported by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government, we are collaborating with Nesta, Monmouthshire County Council, Cardiff Capital Region City Deal Office (CCR) and the ten local authorities to tackle real-life questions, driven by the biggest challenges faced by the region. The Decarbonisation Handbook was written to help Officers from the local authorities and the wider public sector, better understand the landscape, and support innovative problem solving.  

In addition to outlining the goals of the Paris Agreement, it explains the baseline emissions for the UK and Wales, breaks down how various sectors contribute to the carbon dioxide creation, and outlines which policy areas fully or partially devolved to Welsh Government. It brings together information from key official reports, legislative frameworks, and scientific literature to create an accessible introduction for all. The handbook offers a starting point, outlining key points and directing readers to key reports for further reading.  

The handbook is a living document, and we welcome feedback, especially in light of Welsh Governments Net Zero Wales Plan and COP26.