Chapter 5.
A Greener Energy and Environment

Welsh Labour’s Promise to Wales


  1. Legislate to abolish the use of more commonly littered, single use plastics, saving our seas and countryside from the scourge of plastic pollution. We will also introduce an extended producer responsibility scheme to incentivise waste reduction by businesses.
  2. Create a National Forest to extend from the North of Wales to the South, improving 20 existing woodlands to achieve National Forest designation. We will support communities to create 30 new woodlands and connect habitat areas. We will strengthen the protections for ancient woodlands. We will harness the economic, cultural, and recreational potential of the National Forest in consultation with local communities, building on our progress towards creating a sustainable timber industry.
  3. Create a new system of farm support that will maximise the protective power of nature through farming, requiring food production in Wales takes place within environmental limits. Farmers will only receive public subsidy for producing food that delivers additional environmental outcomes. We will develop a Wales Community Food Strategy to encourage the supply of locally sourced food in Wales.
  4. Ensure coal tip safety by introducing legislation to deal with the legacy of centuries of mining, strengthening local authority powers to ensure protection of the public and the environment. 
  5. Fund additional flood protection for more than 45,000 homes. We will deliver nature-based flood management in all major river catchments to expand wetland and woodland habitats at the same time as relieving pressure on hard defences. We will legislate to strengthen the requirements for the use of sustainable drainage systems that provide wildlife habitat. 
  6. Set the highest international standards of air quality into law in a Clean Air Act for Wales, consistent with World Health Organisation guidance. We will extend the provision of air quality monitoring to encourage positive behaviour change to reduce exposure and eliminate pollution at source.
  7. Designate a new National Park to cover the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley. We will begin to designate Wales’ inland waters for recreation, strengthening water quality monitoring to enable rivers to reach the same high standards achieved by Wales’ beaches. We will establish a targeted scheme to support restoration of seagrass and saltmarsh habitats along our coastline. 
  1. Support 80 re-use and repair hubs in town centres and bring together a place-based zero waste challenge network of organisations to support cultural change in businesses and communities.
  2. Uphold our policy of opposing the extraction of fossil fuels in Wales, both on land and in Welsh waters, using the powers available to us. We will expand renewable energy generation by public bodies and community groups in Wales by over 100MW by 2026, working towards our target of 1GW in public sector and community renewable energy capacity by 2030.
  3. Enforce a moratorium on the consenting of all large incineration facilities
  4. Develop a national model for regulation of animal welfare, introducing registration for animal welfare establishments, commercial breeders for pets or for shooting, and animal exhibits. We will improve the qualifications for animal welfare inspectors to raise their professional status. We will require CCTV in all slaughterhouses, we will ban the use of snares, and restrict the use of cages for farmed animals. We will not allow the culling of badgers to control the spread of TB in cattle.
  5. Expand the successful scheme supporting community groups across Wales to create or significantly enhance green spaces accessible to and valued by local communities, including:

    2000 pollinator habitat sites.

    1000 community food growing sites.

    200 community orchards cultivating native fruit.

    100 ‘Tiny Forests’ – dense and diverse woodlands the size of a tennis court.

    50 habitat creation schemes at rail stations and transport interchanges. 

    50 sensory gardens for therapeutic purposes, delivered in partnership with health charities and the Welsh NHS.

A greener future is the only viable future we have.

Developing a more sustainable relationship with the natural world must begin in our local communities – access to local green spaces for the wellbeing benefits it can bring, a local economy that avoids waste, locally generated renewable energy, locally grown food, and keeping all communities safe from the impact of pollution and the changing climate. 

The kind of green transformation that the next Welsh Labour Government will deliver will integrate positive action for nature into more of our economic activity – from sheep farming to steel production - we will prioritise investment in the skills we need to prepare our citizens to meet the challenges that climate change will bring.

A greener future must be a fairer future too and we cannot rely on the free market to deliver it. As the recent health emergency demonstrated, collective action, supported by local and national government is so much more effective at delivering meaningful change.

We will make sure that nature and climate are on the agenda of every public service and private sector business, and we will be looking to see an environmental return on any public investment.

The climate and nature emergency is not the next global crisis. It is already upon us and Welsh Labour has the vision and ambition to plan a better, fairer, and greener future for us all.

What we did in government

  • Our Warm Homes scheme has installed energy efficiency measures in more than 60,000 households, reducing fuel bills and improving health. 
  • Through our funding to National Resources Wales, we are protecting over 70,000 homes from flooding. We have also funded local authorities to build a network of flood defences to protect tens of thousands more, a higher level of investment in flood protection than anywhere in the UK where the Tories are in charge. 
  • Through setting recycling targets, spending £1 billion since 2000 to improve waste collection, and banning single use plastics, the Welsh Labour government has put Wales in the lead globally as far as recycling is concerned. 
  • Since we launched the creation of a National Forest for Wales, we have supported more than 30 Welsh forestry businesses to build the foundations for a significant expansion of tree planting and a sustainable timber industry.
  • Fracking has been banned in Wales by this Welsh Labour Government and the opportunities for the extraction of fossil fuels in Wales continue to reduce.
  • Through maintaining the highest bathing water standards in the UK, Wales’ beaches have secured over 40 Blue Flag Awards
  • The Welsh Labour government has kept the country free from the cultivation of genetically modified crops.
  • We have introduced strict regulations to reduce agricultural pollution that will help farmers play their part in improving the health of our rivers.
  • We introduced a regulation to ban third party sales of puppies and kittens, commonly known as ‘Lucy’s Law,’ and we have banned the use of wild animals in circuses. 
  • Through our Wales and Africa programme, we have planted more than 15 million trees in Uganda securing livelihoods, protecting communities, and helping the environment.