Bridgend and District Friends of the Earth

MS for Bridgend Carwyn Jones was delighted to meet with the newly formed Bridgend and District Friends of the Earth group.

On a recent virtual call, discussions focussed on local environmental issues, the advantages of moving pension investments away from old polluting industries into fossil fuel companies and about what actions the Senedd has taken since Senedd Members voted in favour of the declaration of a climate emergency. The group also signalled their intention to make representations to Bridgend Council requesting that it brings forward a motion calling on the trustees of their Local Government Pension Scheme to move their pension investments away from fossil fuel companies. The Welsh Parliament has led by example on this following a comprehensive review of its Pension scheme by moving assets away from fossil fuels.

Bridgend Council has already taken a number of steps recently unveiling details about its Climate Emergency Response Programme. The Leader Cllr Huw David has stated that he wants Bridgend county borough to be at the forefront of the new sustainability industries of the future. The county borough is working on a number of schemes as part of its role as a pioneer of renewable energy projects. They include the innovative Local Heat Scheme in Caerau and the Bridgend Heat Network Scheme.

It has been well over a year since the Senedd voted in favour of the declaration of a climate emergency- the first Parliament in the world to do so. Despite these unprecedented times, the Welsh Government has maintained momentum in its response to the climate emergency; for example, investing in flood and coastal erosion risk management, active travel schemes, low-emission vehicles, superfast broadband in rural areas, support and investment in renewables, tree planting, action on fuel poverty and investing directly through the innovative housing programme. It is important that we continue down this progressive path and push forward our response to the climate emergency as climate change is one of the biggest threats to the planet.

Mr Jones said “As we slowly recover from the Coronavirus pandemic and build back better, it is more important than ever to think about the future of the planet. We all want to see a cleaner, greener, healthier and more equal Wales in the future and we have a window of opportunity to make those different choices. We have an opportunity to not go back to business as usual. It was good to meet the Bridgend and District FOE group and I wish them well in their future endeavours. “