Scientists from Cardiff University are developing a tool to forecast Wales’s greenhouse gas emissions over the next 30 years.
Together with world-leading multi-disciplinary building science centre, BRE, the academics are developing the tool on behalf of Welsh Government, who will use it to inform the setting of appropriate targets and carbon budgets for the entire country and quantify policies and proposals to be contained in the Low Carbon Delivery Plan.
The tool will be used to inform policies that help to reduce carbon emissions in line with The Environment (Wales) Act 2016, which sets a long term statutory emission reduction target of at least 80 per cent in 2050 compared to a 1990 baseline.
These targets are part of a wider global ambition, agreed by 195 national governments at the UNCCC Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris in December 2015, to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The project will see the team engage with all sectors across Wales, including energy, transport, industry and business, agriculture, housing and waste.
The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM, comments: “The legislative framework and long term ambition introduced by the Environment Act offers a tremendous opportunity to shape a low carbon future for Wales. The challenge for the Welsh Government is to develop policies and programmes of work which will drive deep decarbonisation across our society while delivering jobs and economic growth, vibrant places to live and work and wider benefits to the people of Wales. The development of a 2050 pathway tool for Wales will ensure our decisions are informed by a robust, current and relevant evidence base.”
Leading the project will be Dr Monjur Mourshed, from Cardiff University’s School of Engineering, who has recently developed a similar 2050 energy, emissions and food pathways model for Bangladesh.
Dr Mourshed said: “We are pleased to be selected to lead this important work, a milestone for the development of evidence-based, locally-relevant climate impact mitigation policies and actions in the UK and internationally. The industry-academia collaboration will result in several innovations in bottom-up modelling of energy demand considering socio-economic diversity and its evolution.”
BRE have over ten years’ experience of collaborating with Cardiff University and the BRE Trust currently funds the ‘Centre of Excellence in Building Systems and Informatics’ based at the University.
Andy Sutton, associate director with BRE added: “All at BRE are delighted to be involved with this project which will underpin governance and policy-making in Wales for many years to come, and ensure they have access to world-leading forecasting. The team at Cardiff University is already acknowledged as a leader in the field and the new tool for Wales will build upon their recent work in Bangladesh.”