The Sustainable Development Alliance is disappointed by the outcome of today’s debate in the Environment and Sustainability Committee regarding the Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill.
The Alliance had hoped that its recommendations for stronger and more effective legislation that would build a sustainable Wales would be accepted but most were rejected by the Committee.
The most concerning issue is that the Government proposals to strengthen the key cornerstones of the Bill – the duty on public bodies and the sustainable development principle – have been removed.
Worryingly, the Welsh Government amendment to include goals on climate change and Wales’ global responsibility were rejected by opposition party members despite previously receiving strong cross party support.
Furthermore, good opposition amendments to strengthen the Bill were rejected by Government.
The Alliance now believes that the Bill must be rebuilt. The key Government amendments should be reintroduced and built upon for a strong Bill.
Anne Meikle, spokesperson for the Sustainable Development Alliance, said:
“There simply is no Bill without these clauses. We urge the Welsh Government and opposition parties to work together to create strengthened wording for these elements.”
“The Bill can and must be rebuilt. This is crucial to build a better Wales – a more sustainable future for all.”
On a more positive note, it was agreed that the Government will have to consult the Assembly before appointing the Commissioner for Future Generations, who will also have new powers to conduct reviews into public bodies. The Bill now also links to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and climate change assessments. Opposition parties also supported the amendment to include targets within the Bill as none currently exist.