How we’ll support Wales in rising to the climate change challenge
Climate change is one of the world’s defining challenges and it requires immediate action from everyone, including Audit Wales.
So, today I am making a commitment to use our unique and privileged position at Audit Wales to scrutinise and inspire improvement in climate change action across the Welsh public sector.
The climate emergency is at the top of the global political agenda and the Welsh Government has pledged to embed the response to the climate and nature emergency in everything it does.
It has set some ambitious targets, notably a commitment to net zero carbon emissions for Wales by 2050.
Most challenging perhaps though are the targets for 2030 - aiming for an overall reduction of 63% in emissions and a carbon neutral public sector by that date.
At Audit Wales, I want us to use our knowledge and expertise to:
- Explain how the public sector is responding to the climate emergency;
- Assure the people of Wales that public bodies are doing enough to tackle this defining challenge; and
- Inspire positive change by raising the profile of the climate emergency and by sharing examples of good practice.
We have already started some audit work on climate change in a small number of public bodies. We will now expand and accelerate this work. We are undertaking a baseline review of all public bodies in Wales to audit their arrangements for reducing carbon emissions.
This will set the scene for further work on both reducing carbon emissions and adapting to an already changing climate.
As our audit work on climate change develops, we will continue to publish and promote our findings, embed this work into all that we do and bring people together to share good practice and support the development of new ideas and approaches.
I know from our own efforts to reduce carbon emissions at Audit Wales that none of this is easy for public bodies. But this challenge we simply cannot ignore. If we don’t act now, the impacts will be very real in the communities of Wales, with experts predicting increases in extreme weather leading to landslips in the valleys, and flooding in our coastal towns and cities.
For Wales to meet its climate emergency commitments, we have to come together as one. This is why Audit Wales will continue to shine a light on climate change, for as long as it takes. Every single one of us has a part to play.
About the author
Adrian Crompton became Auditor General for Wales in 2018.
As head of the Wales Audit Office, he oversees the annual audit of some £20 billion of taxpayers’ money and is appointed on an eight-year term.