- Following Senedd elections in May 2021, the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru signed a Cooperation Agreement to work together on a range of policy areas1. Within the theme ‘A Greener Wales to Tackle Climate Change and the Nature Emergency’, a commitment was made to “Commission independent advice to examine potential pathways to net zero by 2035 – the current target date is 2050. This will look at the impact on society and sectors of our economy and how any adverse effects may be mitigated, including how the costs and benefits are shared fairly. We support devolution of further powers and resources Wales needs to respond most effectively to reach net zero…”.
- The expert advice will consider pathways to achieve net zero by 2035, that are compatible with the ambitions of both the goals and ways of working of the Well-being for Future Generations (WFG) Act (2015).
- Furthermore, the expert advice will be additional and not duplicative of relevant work undertaken by the Welsh Government.
- The Group will be chaired by Jane Davidson, Pro Vice-Chancellor Emeritus, University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. In the absence of the appointed Chair, Dan Bristow, Director of Policy and Practice at the Wales Centre of Public Policy (WCPP) will deputise.
- The Group will be supported by a Secretariat and evidence support team based within the WCPP.
- At the Group’s core are a number of independent experts (expert members), selected from across academia, public and private institutions . Expert members were chosen on the basis of their individual thematic expertise and complementarity with the Group’s collective requirements, including to ensure coverage across all key sectors. Efforts were made to select experts in Welsh institutions, those with a research focus on Wales and those with wider UK and international reach linked to best practice
- A number of organisations engaged in net zero delivery will also be welcomed to the Group as observers, including appointees from the Welsh Government.
- Members will be expected to attend meetings and contribute effectively (including via correspondence). Membership may be revoked by the Chair where this is not the case.
- The Chair and Members will not receive remuneration, however, reasonable expenses are anticipated e.g. for in person meetings.
- A full list of members is available at: https://netzero2035.wales/sample-page/members/
- General expectations for the entire membership of the Group are as follows:
- Hold themselves to high ethical standards, acting in accordance with the Seven Principles of Public Life (also known as the Nolan Principles)3;
- Respond to the 7 Goals and 5 Ways of Working’ within the WFG Act, intended to shape thinking around the sustainable development principle;
- Attend meetings and contribute effectively (including via correspondence);
- To not share views on behalf of the Group externally, unless in regard to a published conclusion of the Group or with explicit agreement from the Chair;
- Provide impartial and robust evidence as appropriate.
- The Chair will undertake the following responsibilities:
- Oversee development of the Group’s work;
- Ensure outcomes will be delivered through regular assessment of progress, working with the Secretariat;
- Chair meetings and enable fair participation of all members;
- On a quarterly basis, brief the Minister for Climate Change and Designated Member, with support of the Secretary.
- The Secretary will undertake the following responsibilities:
- Strategise and organise the work of the Group, in collaboration with the Chair and Members;
- Liaise with Members to ensure their views are, as appropriate, incorporated within working documents;
- Ensure working documents are of sufficient quality and timeliness, including working with the minutes secretary on record keeping;
- Work with the Chair to assess progress and delivery of the Group;
- Act as a focal point for external enquiries;
- Develop and maintain an effective external, including online, presence of the Group;
- On a quarterly basis, support the Chair in briefing the Minister for Climate Change and Designated Member;
- Support expert members to represent the Group externally, as appropriate.
- The observers will:
- On a needs basis and as determined by expert members, be called upon to provide evidence;
- Notify the Secretariat of a deputised attendee; where possible;
- The WCPP evidence support team will undertake the following responsibilities:
- Support the process of collating, evaluating and synthesising evidence to enable the work of the Group.
- The Group will meet monthly for the duration of its standing. Meetings are expected to take place largely through virtual means, with a hybrid format used on a needs basis.
- The agenda for each meeting will be agreed in correspondence with the membership, to be shared alongside any relevant papers one week prior to meeting.
- The Secretariat will ensure high quality, accurate formal minutes are taken. Formal minutes will be circulated for comments by members and cleared with the Chair before being made public.
19. It is anticipated work will initially take place for 18 months, beginning in January 2023.