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Jane Hutt MS on Covid pandemic and climate change

Our First Minister Mark Drakeford gave a strong message last week following the Welsh Government’s review of coronavirus regulations reminding us that the pandemic is far from over. He drew attention to the rising rates of coronavirus in Wales with more people falling seriously ill and needing hospital treatment.

He announced that we will remain at alert zero level zero but protective measures are being strengthened to protect people’s health and to help bring the rates down so that the spread of the virus is under control. The First Minister said, ‘Let’s all work together as a team to reduce the spread of coronavirus and keep Wales open and keep Wales safe.’

This week the First Minister travelled to Glasgow by train to join world leaders for the UN Climate Conference in Scotland. His message to people in Wales is the power of collective action. Smaller countries, like Wales, can achieve great things when everyone works together – and that’s the difference the world needs now to tackle climate change.

Wales was the first country in the world to declare a climate emergency, in April 2019, and since then has:

• Published a net zero plan, setting out a decade of action to tackle the climate crisis.

• Started a roads review into new road projects in Wales, recognising the need to move away from spending money on projects that encourage more people to drive, instead redirecting funding towards maintaining existing roads and investing in real alternatives to private transport, such as public and active transport.

• Committed to build 20,000 high quality, low carbon homes for rent over the next five years.

The First Minister has said “We need to do much more over the coming 10 years, than we have in the last 30, to reach our net zero target. To achieve this, we need everyone to pull together – we need everyone to play their part.”

I would like to thank Barry Action for Nature for their care of the local environment, most recently with their litter picking at White Farm which I joined over the weekend.

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