Tuesday, 19 February 2008

'Clean, lean and green'...and away with the fairies?

The One Wales agreement called climate change ‘the greatest threat facing humanity’. To tackle this threat it promised (surprise, surprise) some strategies: an energy strategy to deal with renewable energy and an energy route map. Today the environment minister Jane Davidson announced a mix of the two, a renewable energy route map that will show how we can develop a Wales that is ‘lean, clean and green’.

The press release accompanying the route map consultation followed Assembly Government house style by once again proclaiming Wales to be the first to do something (a subject Miss Wagstaff has mentioned before). With sparing and environmentally-friendly use of modesty the press release said: ‘Just as we led the world in energy development during the 19th century when our coal powered the industrial revolution, we again have a great opportunity to lead in the battle against climate change.’

Towards the end of the release, just before we all burst into a spontaneous rendition of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau, the press release says: “With the images of the end of one era – the closure of the last deep mine in Wales at Tower Colliery – still fresh in our memories we must now look to the future.” This passage will sound a little strange to residents living uncomfortably close to the Ffos-y-Fran open cast mine near Merthyr Tydfil. The last era is still alive and well at Ffos-y-Fran and elsewhere across Wales in coal, gas and woodchip burning plants.

The press release calls the route map ‘an ambitious programme’. Unfortunately for the Assembly Government a lot of the programme is hostage to decisions in Whitehall. It is deemed too important an issue for Westminster to leave to the Senedd. This is not to say that the renewable energy route map does not set out some good aims. But renewable energy, according to the Welsh Assembly Government’s own calculations in 2005, accounted for just 2.6% of electricity generation in Wales. Unless there is a serious commitment to realising the programme it will remain a (non-carbon neutral) pipe-dream.

8 comments:

wag man 19 February 2008 at 14:19  

The term 'ambitious programme' is widely used within the Assembly Government these days. Unfortunately, the set-up and the lack of ability leaves all such programmes as mere ambition. WAG needs a reality check.

Anonymous 19 February 2008 at 15:53  

Did I hear right? Jane Davidson has said that there's no reason why Wales cannot be self-sufficient - 100% renewable energy!!!

Anonymous 19 February 2008 at 15:56  

It will go the same way as Jane's other'ambitious' programme to replace the country's decaying schools. The reality is thta we are way off the 2010 target withthe wind farm industry having virtually given up on Wales. Usual WAg problem too much talk and not enough action

fed up with guff to the press 19 February 2008 at 19:56  

I can't understand why WAG set themselves up for a fall every time. Their only safety net is to blame Whtehall and Westminster when they can't deliver their 'big' ideas.

Miss Wagstaff 19 February 2008 at 20:03  

Summed the situation up well, DC. The last comment "Their only safety net is to blame Whitehall and Westminster when they can't deliver their 'big' ideas" is also a sad reality.

Anonymous 19 February 2008 at 20:23  

If only they would stick to areas where an end result is achievable. That isn't too much to ask from this government.

bridgend girl 20 February 2008 at 11:28  

What an appalling government. It's even taken 17 teenage suicides in one county to make them review the situation. Nice to know they have their finger on the pulse (no pun intended).

Dotcommentator 20 February 2008 at 15:54  

Guess what the Assembly Government's answer is to the suicides crisis. It's, err, another plan.

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