Climate change is greatest challenge Welsh Coastline

Renewable energy could play a big role in saving Wales' coastline whose greatest current challenge is climate change, according to the Welsh Minister for Sustainability and Rural Development

Jane Davidson expressed her concern over the role of climate change in the future of Welsh coasts in a speech late last week at the CoastNet Corepoint Conference in Cardiff:

“Climate change is clearly the greatest challenge facing Wales’ extensive coastline. Taking early action to tackle the causes of climate change is vital and renewable energy schemes such as off shore wind farms and tidal energy projects can play a significant role in tackling the causes of climate change.”

“Recognising that 60% of Wales’ population live and work on the coast and 70% of our coastline is designated for its significant environmental value, it is vital that we adapt to those unavoidable impacts which climate change will bring,” the Minister said.

At the conference in Cardiff, – which addressed various aspects of climate change affecting the coast – Davidson highlighted aspects of a recent report with objectives including “a better system of planning and management for the coasts of Wales, co-ordinating land- based policies with the newly developing marine policies such as the Marine Bill.”

Already last year, the Welsh Assembly Government announced a new coastal access improvement programme for Wales allocating £1.5 million for works. The programme plans to open up access to the coast for both local communities and visitors through local path improvements – with specific sections suitable for the disabled, families with prams, for horse riders and for cyclists.

Over the last week, Davidson has also tackled other environmental strategies by suggesting to the Welsh assembly that Wales ban plastic bags by next March, as well as officially introduce higher targets on individual household recycling – both moves welcomed by various environmental campaigners.

Dana Gornitzki

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