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World Environment Day – Wales can lead the charge in the quest for a truly green recovery

Written by on 5th June 2020

Wales’ recovery from the coronavirus pandemic must be shaped to support the response to the climate emergency, Chair of Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Sir David Henshaw said today (5 June 2020).

As the world comes together to mark World Environment Day 2020, Sir David has underlined NRW’s commitment to supporting the Welsh Government to deliver a green recovery that prioritises sustainable economic growth and benefits the climate and our natural environment.

He also outlined how Wales must lead the way on a green route out of the Covid-19 crisis and how Wales’ response to the lockdown will play a critical role in determining our effectiveness – or otherwise – in responding to the climate and nature emergencies.

Chair of Natural Resources Wales Sir David Henshaw said:
“The impact of Covid-19 has brought sharply into focus the importance we place on our local environment – particularly when our access to it has been limited to serve a greater purpose.

“It has also made the case for tackling the climate emergency starker than ever before. The pledges NRW made last year to respond to that challenge remain at the heart of everything we do. The concept of a sustainable recovery will only add momentum to our approach to tackling the climate emergency, and deeper instil the commitment needed to succeed.”

Looking at how a green recovery could effectively be achieved, NRW suggests that an overall package could focus on:

  • A recovery that strengthens our local economies by capitalising on the renewed sense of place and connection we now have with our communities.
  • Developing active travel measures which will help to safeguard the quality of the air we now breathe.
  • Developing support packages for businesses and sectors that have decarbonisation and nature-based solutions at their core.
  • Reforming and developing longer-term policy ambitions in areas such as post-Brexit agricultural and land management support, and the approach to developing a more circular economy.

Sir David also reiterated the importance of approaching the green recovery as a coalition with one voice.

He added:
“This World Environment Day we need everyone in Wales – the government, the private, third and tourism sectors, environmental NGOs, the agricultural and recreational sectors and our communities across Wales – to work together to confront this global challenge head on and seize the opportunity to lead the charge for a truly green recovery.”