High profile backing for Welsh ‘future generations’ campaign

Leading figures, including business leader Sir Stuart Rose and environmental champion Jonathon Porritt, have thrown their weight behind a campaign for Wales to be a world pioneer on sustainable development.

Today (16 July 2013) an alliance of over 20 organisations publishes its alternative proposal for the Welsh Government’s flagship Sustainable Development Bill.

The group says that the new law will decide how Wales develops for decades to come. In its document, Shaping The Future, it calls for the legislation to include a duty on government and public bodies to achieve sustainable development - meeting the needs of future generations, as well as those alive today.

It also sets out a clear definition of sustainable development and proposes that a Sustainable Development Commissioner for Wales would promote and facilitate sustainable development, as well as handle complaints about how public authorities carry out their duties.

Today’s publication follows concern from campaigners that to date, Welsh Government proposals for the law have been too weak to deliver on bold promises made by ministers. The organisations hope that with a new Minister, Jeff Cuthbert, leading on the development of the law, the Welsh Government will support their alternative plan.

Speaking on behalf of the organisations, Haf Elgar said:

“The Sustainable Development Bill is an amazing opportunity for Wales to set an example to the world by making sure that government and public bodies meet the needs of future generations, as well as people alive now. It’s heartening to see such a wide range of organisations supporting the alternative law that we have published today.”

“We’re putting forward a plan for a strong law which would deliver real benefits for people and the planet. By placing a clear duty on public authorities to achieve sustainable development, ministers would ensure that public bodies work in a joined-up way for the long term, such as creating jobs in ways that combat climate change, making planning decisions which support Welsh-speaking communities and making healthy, local food available to all.”

“We cannot afford to saddle future generations with the consequences of unsustainable decisions. If implemented, this alternative bill will deliver a better quality of life for people in Wales and ensure that we play our part, as global citizens, to help achieve a decent life for people living in poverty around the world.”

The proposal is available here - Shaping our Future

Organisations supporting the proposed alternative bill include:

• Bat Conservation Trust
• Bevan Foundation
• Christian Aid Wales
• Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg
• Cynnal Cymru
• Disability in Wales and Africa
• Fair Trade Wales
• Friends of the Earth Cymru
• Life for African Mothers
• Love Zimbabwe
• National Federation of Women’s Institutes – Wales
• Oxfam Cymru
• RSPB Cymru
• Stop Climate Chaos Cymru
• Tearfund
• Tools for Self Reliance Cymru
• Wales International Development Hub
• Welsh Centre for International Affairs
• Wales Council for Voluntary Action
• Wildlife Trusts Wales
• WWF Cymru