“Today is an historic day” – Wales to have a ground-breaking sustainable development law

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Today (17 March) at a plenary vote held in Cardiff Bay the Assembly voted for The Well-being of Future Generations Bill, which will now become law.

After over three years of campaigning for a strong and coherent Bill, today the Sustainable Development Alliance, which represents 30 organisations from environment and development charities to faith and belief, community and women’s groups from all parts of Wales,  celebrates and congratulates AMs on passing the ground-breaking law.

Anne Meikle, Head of WWF Cymru and Chair of the Sustainable Development Alliance, said:

“Today is an historic day. The new Well-being of Future Generations law is a ground-breaking piece of legislation which will influence every aspect of the public sector in Wales, moving us towards being a sustainable nation. Many congratulations and an immeasurable thank you to the Assembly Members for passing the Bill today.

Organisations from the Sustainable Alliance Alliance say thank you to Assembly Members for passing the Well-being of Future Generations Bill.

“When Desmond Tutu visited Wales in 2012 he said, ‘People in Wales have big hearts. They belong in a small country but, oh man, they really have the kick of a mule!’ How fantastic that today, as a nation we have come together to create a law which confirms it.”

Haf Elgar, Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Cymru and spokesperson for the Alliance, added:

“As an Alliance we have worked tirelessly over the past three years to ensure that the Bill was clear and strong, and following the amendments which were passed last week it truly is. We are delighted and incredibly proud that our campaigning has helped build a law that will shape the future of Wales in such a positive way.”

The Well-being of Future Generations law sets a clear duty on public bodies to carry out sustainable development in everything they do. That means planning for the long term, not just taking short term decisions and working towards long term ‘well-being goals’. These goals will make sure that we live within environmental limits, enhance biodiversity and are globally responsible in our actions.

The law also sets up a Commissioner to act as a guardian for future generations and ties us into the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.