Wales commits to a fossil-free future for sake of the planet
The Welsh Government has committed to avoid the continued extraction and use of fossil fuels, and decarbonise Wales’ energy system in the revamped Planning Policy Wales (PPW), published today.
Extraction and use of fossil fuels, including by fracking, will be placed at the bottom of a new 'energy hierarchy' that promotes renewable energy developments.
According to Edition 10 of Planning Policy Wales the continued extraction of all fossil fuels, including shale gas, coal bed methane and underground coal gasification, is not compatible with targets for decarbonisation and increased renewable energy generation.
And it clearly states that coal applications are effectively ruled out: ‘Proposals for open cast, deep mine development or colliery spoil disposal should not be permitted.’
Haf Elgar, Director of Friends of the Earth Cymru called it an "historic moment for Wales" and continued:
“As David Attenborough told world leaders at the UN climate change talks this week, climate change is our greatest threat, and time is running out. This new policy is a positive sign that the Welsh Government is taking this threat seriously. Not only has Old King Coal has had his day - he is fast becoming a relic of history.
“A fossil free future is the only future for Wales – and the rest of the planet. People in Wales are proud that their country is taking the lead, and hope that other countries follow our example. The whole world must embrace a positive future of renewable energy and sustainable development to build a cleaner, safer future for us all.”
Tony Bosworth, fossil-free campaigner at Friends of the Earth, called for the Westminster Government to follow Wales’ lead:
“The Westminster Government needs to accept that fossil fuel extraction is incompatible with fighting climate change. Instead it is pushing fracking, refusing to call time on coal, and bogging down new wind energy projects with harsh planning rules.
“It’s time to consign coal to the history books and to end fracking. The government must prioritise renewable energy and helping people make their homes more energy efficient.”