Policy Forum for Wales

Energy policy in Wales and enabling the transition to a low carbon economy - priorities for cutting emissions, infrastructure and investment, and supporting the economy

Morning, Thursday, 12th December 2019

Central Cardiff


This seminar will examine the practicalities, impact and next steps for cutting emissions in Wales, looking at the transition to a low carbon economy and meeting Wales’ first carbon budget, and infrastructure priorities to support both environmental aims and growth in the Welsh economy.

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss the Welsh Government’s Prosperity for All: A Low Carbon Wales plan, bringing together existing and new policy at Wales, UK and EU level.

It takes place in the context of the recent target set by the Welsh Government to achieve net zero emissions status by 2050 - going further than the Committee on Climate Change’s recommending a 95% reduction from 1990 in Wales - and the similar overall UK target backed by a legislative amendment recently announced by the UK prime minister.

The seminar is also timed to follow the publication of the first Welsh National Marine Plan, setting out a 20-year plan for policy towards clean, healthy, safe and diverse seas, sustainable development and supporting ‘blue growth’.

Further discussion will look ahead to a range of strategies due to be finalised across government in 2020, including in areas such as planning and development, transport and fuel poverty.

With the recent creation of the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales, delegates will discuss priorities for meeting Wales’ strategic infrastructure needs, as well as supporting work in areas such as decarbonisation and clean energy production through infrastructure projects, whilst benefiting the Welsh economy.

Attendees will also examine the challenges and opportunities for making changes in everyday life as:

  • a Climate Just Advisory Group is set up to understand the impact of environmental measures on individuals and ensure fairness in the future low-carbon economy; and
  • an industry-led group is established to look at options for decarbonising industrial sectors and business.

The conference will consider how the Welsh Government can support the decarbonisation and climate change agendas, major energy projects, and local energy production, as the Welsh Government aim to increase the local ownership of energy generation.

Those attending will look at the potential impact of developments UK-wide, such as the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, in the context of the global move towards clean growth, and the UK’s departure from the EU, following the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee’s report on environmental governance and principles post-Brexit.

Further sessions assess the challenges for meeting sustainability goals, following the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, and the recent publication of the Future Generations Commissioner’s 10 point plan, prioritising ten areas for investment in order for Wales to meet the climate emergency challenge, across areas such as renewable energy, housing and buildings, transport, land use and agriculture.

Keynote Speakers

Lesley Griffiths AM

Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs

John Lloyd Jones

Chair, National Infrastructure Commission for Wales

Keynote Speakers

Lesley Griffiths AM

Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs

John Lloyd Jones

Chair, National Infrastructure Commission for Wales


Dr Martin Edlund

Chief Executive Officer, Minesto

Holly Cross

Projects Co-Manager and Director, Cwm Arian Renewable Energy

Will Ryan

Director, Planning, Savills

Sion Sleep

Environmental Leadership Programme, Uprising Cymru

Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh

Director, Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations, Cardiff University

Jonathan Williams

Head of Projects, Active Building Centre

Oliver Lancaster

Manager, Future of Energy Project, Wales & West Utilities and Member, Business Council, Cardiff Capital Region

Fergus Worthy

Senior Transport Consultant, Cenex