New tool to project Wales’ greenhouse gas emissions up to 2050

Cardiff University and BRE are developing a tool to forecast Wales’ greenhouse gas emissions over the next 30 years and inform policies to reduce them

Together with BRE, the building science centre, academics from Cardiff University are developing an emissions forecasting tool on behalf of Welsh Government.

It will be used to inform appropriate targets and carbon budgets for the whole of Wales, as well as quantifying policies and proposals within the Low Carbon Delivery Plan.

The forecasting tool will be used to help set policies that reduce carbon emissions in line with The Environment (Wales) Act 2016. This legislation sets a long term statutory emission reduction target of at least 80% in 2050 compared to a 1990 baseline.

Shaping a low carbon future for Wales

“The legislative framework and long term ambition introduced by the Environment Act offers a tremendous opportunity to shape a low carbon future for Wales,” said Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM.

“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.”

The Welsh Government’s targets are part of a wider global ambition, agreed at the COP21 meeting in Paris in December 2015, to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2°C above pre-industrial levels whilst also trying to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Towards locally-relevant climate mitigation

Dr Monjur Mourshed, from Cardiff University’s School of Engineering, will lead the project. He has recently developed a similar 2050 energy, emissions and food pathways model for Bangladesh. His team will engage with sectors including energy, transport, industry and business, agriculture, housing and waste in the course of the project.

“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,” commented Dr Mourshed. “The industry-academia collaboration will result in several innovations in bottom-up modelling of energy demand considering socio-economic diversity and its evolution.”

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