Is This The Most Climate-Progressive Country On Earth?
In fact, says John Vidal over at The Guardian, Wales may be the most progressive country on earth when it comes to climate change. At least, it will be when new legislation is passed that enshrines principles of sustainable development into every level of government:
Unless there is a political upset, he says, Wales will become the first country in the world to make it legally binding for all public bodies, from health trusts to libraries and schools, to take account of the environment and social issues when they make a decision.
The sustainable development bill should be delivered in just under a year, says Griffiths, who is in Doha to meet other regional governments like Catalonia, Brittany and Quebec, as well as UN agencies. “It would be a legal first,” he says. “A country may be small but it can be smart and far-sighted.”
That’s not to say it’s all plain sailing of course. Rapid growth in wind energy has lead to opposition in many rural communities. But the answer, says Vidal in his interview with Welsh assembly member John Griffiths, is not in abandoning renewable energy. Wales, after all, is no stranger to negative fallout from industrial exploitation like coal mining. It’s about time that the energy industries that get rich from Wales resources—renewable or not—start benefitting the communities that they operate in. The Welsh Assembly is also working on plans to make that happen.