Climate change is the greatest threat facing this generation. I was therefore delighted to have taken part in Marine Energy Wales hustings this morning.
There is so much potential to generate clean electricity from the forces of nature around our shores and, at the same time, revitalise our coastal towns and communities.
See below how Welsh Lib Dems will make waves and get the tide rolling!
- Put addressing climate change at the heart of all our policies
- Create a package of investment of £1bn per year to fight the climate emergency, creating new jobs, stability for supply chains and businesses, and investing in new technology.
- Pass an Economic Development Bill, providing long term stability to grow supply chains and strengthen the economy
- Unlock private sector investment
- Invest in high-quality apprenticeships and training, deepening the connections between our colleges and universities to support research, innovation, and address skills shortages for ‘new’ jobs and technologies.
- Bring together relevant stakeholders, including Natural Resources Wales, environmental organisations, universities and the marine energy industry to develop environmentally sustainable marine energy projects
- Press for the Senedd to have the powers to decide on large energy projects (so that Westminster cannot scupper projects that the Senedd and local communities want to go ahead – as happened with the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon)
- Pursue devolution of the Crown Estate to help the more rapid development of marine energy projects and to provide the investment needed from the sale of leases
- Ensure offshore renewable energy is seen as a significant priority and receives at least the same level of funding through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund as it did from EU Structural Funds.
- Press for the Senedd to have control over how these funds are allocated in Wales and for research to be specifically included
- Support international collaboration
- Develop our coastal towns and communities, such as Holyhead, Mostyn and Port Talbot, into world-leading centres of excellence for marine renewable energy technology, creating new, long-term jobs and prosperity
- Support research and development and expand degree apprenticeships to include post-graduate courses
Don’t just take our word for it though, these ambitious and challenging plans are backed by the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales and the Institute of Welsh Affairs.
These plans will see Wales step up to the plate to protect our planet for future generations.
Because addressing the climate emergency is the most valuable legacy we can leave to our children.