Casting your vote for access and the environment: Senedd Elections 2021

Posted by Eben Muse on 05/05/2021

Following a Welsh election hustings last week where commitments to access and the environment were made by candidates, we took the time to review the Manifestos of the major Welsh parties. How do their ambitions stack up? What are they promising to deliver during the next five years and beyond? Remember to cast your vote on May the 6th!

Please note: this is not a comprehensive list of all pledges but just some of the headlines.

READ: About the candidates

WATCH: Welsh Access and Environment Senedd Hustings 2021

Environment

Clean air, tackling waste, improving our biodiversity in the face of the climate crisis, investing in the green economy, and developing a sustainable travel system are all issues that are at the fore of the major party manifestos. All parties apart from the Conservatives agree to reject previously proposed plans for the M4 relief road in South Wales. There is an impressive level of ambition and detail from Plaid Cymru in comparison to Labour, who present a relatively modest set of promises.

The environment features very prominently in the Liberal Democrat manifesto, as well as the Wales Green Party, with the latter proposing a change in measuring economic change to a similar ‘wellbeing system’ as used in New Zealand. They have high ambitions but are generally short on specific proposals and detail. The Conservatives present a reasonably detailed manifesto with statistics to support, however their heavy campaign focus on the M4 corridor and major road expansion undermines their environmental credentials as well as their modest targets and environmental ambitions.

There is an across-the-board absence of any awareness of our global carbon footprint or ways to take responsibility.

Here are some headline pledges on environmental issues from the main parties.

Labour:

  • Net zero emissions by 2050.
  • Focus on the creation of a green economy with long term investment in infrastructure.
  • Abolish single use plastics and introduce extended producer responsibility scheme.
  • Strong emphasis on creating high quality, clean transport system.
  • Building 20,000 low carbon social housing “building revolution”.
  • A range of biodiversity-enhancing initiatives including legislating on sustainable drainage systems, growing Welsh woodlands, coastal restoration.
  • Make Welsh bus and taxi fleets zero emission as soon as 2028.
  • Launch a 10-year Wales infrastructure investment plan for green and modern infrastructure.

Plaid:

  • Net zero carbon emissions by 2035 (qualified by receiving full powers to deliver it).
  • 60,000 new green jobs.
  • Active travel plan featuring longer distance cycleways, using financial powers to reduce car use.
  • Review of entire budget to ensure resources allocated to decarbonising reflects the urgent need and the government’s ambition.
  • Amend emissions reduction pathway to target 2035 for meeting all of Wales’ energy needs from renewables.
  • Decarbonise railways by 2035.
  • Legislate to ban petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.
  • Roll out “Energy positive housing” to contribute to the grid, ban the use of fossil fuels in planning new homes by 2022, and a free energy efficiency audit to each home.
  • Commission a national inventory of green energy potential in Wales evolving into an energy plan and development of indigenous firms and community energy projects.
  • Focus on habitat recovery and increase the budget of Natural Resource Wales, ensuring fines for pollution are of sufficient scale to be a greater deterrent to pollution.
  • Make reforesting Wales a national goal to deliver a minimum of 20% tree coverage in all urban areas. Tree felling to require a special license and the planting of trees in return.
  • Immediately ban single use plastics (in 2021).
  • Divestment of local authority pensions from fossil fuels.
  • Commitment to maintaining the North South flight system, something environmentalists agree is contrary to the need to reduce air travel.

Conservative:

  • Net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • Deliver ‘North Wales Metro’ integrating active travel with public transport.
  • 15,000 “green collar” jobs.
  • Ban single use plastics for non-medical use and develop a deposit return scheme.
  • Found Independent office of Environmental Protection and Climate Change to hold government to account.
  • All homes to be zero carbon by 2026, and support households to reduce energy efficiency of homes using £5,000-10,000 vouchers.
  • Work with bus companies to electrify fleets.
  • Animal offender register, and a £30m Wales Wildlife Fund.
  • Scrap Natural Resource Wales to improve transparency.
  • Major road expansion including going ahead with the previously canned M4 relief road in South Wales and upgrade the A55 and A40 in North and West Wales, as well as upgrading the A470.

Liberal Democrats:

  • Net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • Create a package of investment of £1bn a year to fight the climate emergency, create jobs and stability for supply chains, and invest in new technology.
  • A green homes act to cut average household bills by £500 and build smarter, more energy efficient homes.
  • Take action to protect Wales’ natural environment and biodiversity through reforestation, wildlife conservation, and loss of open, public green space.
  • Divestment of local authority pensions from fossil fuels.
  • Pursue devolution of crown estate to support rapid deployment of more marine renewable energy.

Green:

  • Net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
  • Divestment of local authority pensions from fossil fuels.
  • Green Transformation Fund to immediately finance decarbonization.
  • Transition to ‘Wellbeing Economy’

Access

 It’s clear that increasing access to green spaces both in the countryside and in urban regions is something that Labour and Plaid Cymru feel will win them votes. The conservatives’ offerings on access are limited to the right to take over community assets to preserve assets such as green spaces (or libraries). The liberal democrats’ concise manifesto does manage to promise easy access to essential services (of which green spaces is one) but has little else to say here.

Labour:

  • Designate a new National Park to cover the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley in North East Wales.
  • Designate Wales’ inland waters for recreation aiming for high quality monitoring standards to match the standard of Welsh beaches.
  • Creation and enhancement of green spaces valued by local communities including pollinator habitats, community food growing sites, orchards, tiny forests and sensory gardens.
  • Identify slate landscape of North West Wales (beloved by climbers) as a World Heritage site.

Plaid:

  • Investigate the creation of a National Park of the Sea in Cardigan Bay and the Celtic Sea.
  • Use the planning system to make natural green spaces available in people’s communities as a basic right.

Conservative:

  • Community ownership fund, and the right to bid to support takeover of assets such as libraries, pubs, or green spaces (especially if threatened with closure).

Liberal Democrats:

  • Adopt the concept of a 20 minute neighbourhood in all planning and decision making, meaning that essential services (including green spaces) are within 20 minutes journey by cycling, walking, or public transport.

Green:

  • Promising to encourage good health and access to green space.

Quotes from the BMC Hustings Event:

 “We need to make outdoor access, outdoor enjoyment, the poetry, as well as the prose of the outdoors available to everyone- not just the people with expensive kit, not just the people with four-wheel-drives… that’s where the advantages come. Transforming people’s physical and mental wellbeing.” Huw Irranca-Davies, Labour

“I saw first-hand the impact of exposure to the outdoors, and challenges in the outdoors and I saw it as an incredibly positive experience” Mia Rees, Conservative Party

“I think the biggest threat to open access, green spaces and  the mountains is the 2026 deadline for the registration of rights of way- the impact of that could be very very significant” – Jonathan Clarke, Plaid Cymru

The rest:

Gwlad Gwlad, although they released a mammoth 43 page manifesto, did not address issues of climate change, biodiversity, or access in any meaningful way aside from supporting offshore wind turbines and condemning them onshore.

The Abolish The Assembly Party, are similarly backwards in opposing environmental protections, and neglect to mention climate change, choosing instead to focus on banning bilingual signs and building the M4 relief road.

Reform UK’s platform consists of tidal energy, scrapping environmental regulation, and investing in electric cars. They also share Labour’s ambition for a national forest.

UKIP, who still hold elected office in Wales, wish to “separate the dogma of man made climate change from conservation”, maintaining that there is no climate emergency. Despite this, they do promise to uphold high environmental standards post-Brexit to protect our air quality, waterways and woodlands.

Propel, the Plaid Cymru offshoot, wish to establish a nationalized Welsh energy company to extract fossil fuels, while also becoming a world leader in carbon capture and storage.  They plan to reform planning to protect green areas, but also upgrade existing road networks while reinstating the North-South railway network.

Remember to cast your vote on May the 6th!

MORE ACCESS NEWS: Unauthorised encampments and trespass

[Er gwybodaeth- nid yw hon yn rhestr gyflawn o holl addewidion pob plaid- dim ond rhai o’r uchafbwyntiau]

Ar ôl hysting etholiad Cymru wythnos diwethaf, ble cawsom addewidion cadarnhaol ynglŷn â mynediad a’r amgylchedd, cawsom gyfle i edrych ar Faniffestos y prif bleidiau yng Nghymru. Sut mae eu huchelgeisiau yn cymharu â’i gilydd? Beth maent yn addo i’w wneud yn ystod y bum mlynedd nesaf a thu hwnt?

Cofiwch fwrw eich pleidlais ar Fai'r 6ed!

Yr Amgylchedd

Awyr iach, taclo gwastraff, a gwella ein bioamrywiaeth yn ystod yr argyfwng hinsawdd, buddsoddi yn yr economi werdd, a datblygu system drafnidiaeth gynaliadwy, maent i gyd yn faterion sy’n amlwg iawn ym maniffestos y prif bleidiau. Mae pob plaid ar wahân i’r Ceidwadwyr yn cytuno i ganslo cynlluniau am ffordd osgoi'r M4 yn Ne Cymru. Mae lefel arbennig o fanylder ac uchelgais yng nghynlluniau amgylcheddol Plaid Cymru o’i gymharu â Llafur, sy’n cyflwyno rhestr gymharol fer o addewidion.

Mae’r amgylchedd yn ymddangos yn amlwg iawn ym maniffesto'r Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol, yn o gystal â Phlaid Werdd Cymru, gyda’r Blaid Werdd yn cynnig newid mewn modd o fesuriadau economaidd i “system buddiant”, yn debyg i’r hyn sydd ar ddefnydd yn Seland Newydd. Mae ganddynt uchelgais, ond ar y cyfan, mae diffyg manylion a syniadau penodol. Mae’r Ceidwadwyr yn cyflwyno maniffesto weddol fanwl, gyda data i’w gefnogi, ond mae eu ffocws trwm ar goridor yr M4 ac ehangu ffyrdd yn tanseilio eu credadwyaeth yn hynny o beth, yn ogystal â’u targedau amgylcheddol siomedig.

Mae distawrwydd llethol gan bob plaid wrth edrych ar gydnabyddiaeth am ein ôl-troed carbon bydol, neu ffyrdd o gymryd cyfrifoldeb am hyn.

Dyma rai o’r penawdau gan y pleidiau ar faterion amgylcheddol.

Llafur:

·    Allyriadau carbon net sero erbyn 2050.

·    Canolbwyntio ar greu economi werdd, gyda buddsoddiad hirdymor mewn isadeiledd.

·    Diddymu plastigion defnydd-sengl, a chyflwyno cynllun atebolrwydd estynedig i gynhyrchwyr.

·    Pwyslais cryf ar greu system drafnidiaeth lan, o ansawdd uchel.

·    Adeiladu 20,000 o dai carbon-isel mewn “chwildro adeiladu”.

·    Amrywiaeth o gynlluniau i wello bioamrywiaeth gan gynnwys deddfwriaeth ar ddraeniad cynaliadwy, gan dyfu coedwigaeth Gymreig, ac adferu’r arfordir.

·    Fflyd tacsi a bws sero allyriad mor fuan â 2028.

·    Lansio cynllun 10-mlynedd ar isadeiledd gwyrdd, modern.

Plaid:

·    Allyriadau carbon net sero erbyn 35 (os cawn bwerau llawn i’w gyflawni).

·    60,000 o swyddi gwyrdd newydd.

·    Cynllun trafnidiaeth actif gan gynnwys llwybrau beics hirach, gan ddefnyddio pwerau ariannol i leihau defnydd ceir.

·    Arolwg llawn o’r gyllideb, i sicrhau fod adnoddau yn mynd at ddatgarboneiddio i adlewyrchu brys ac uchelgais y llywodraeth.

·    Newid y llwybr gostwng allyriadau i dargedu 2035 er mwyn cyflenwi holl anghenion egni Cymru o egni adnewyddadwy.

·    Datgarboneiddio rheilffyrdd erbyn 2035.

·    Creu deddf i wahardd ceir petrol a disel erbyn 2030. 

·    Cynhyrchu “tai egni-bositive” i gyfrannu i’r grid, a gwahardd defnydd o ynni ffosil yng nghynlluniau tai newydd erbyn 2022, ac archwiliad effeithlonrwydd egni i bob tŷ.

·    Comisiynu stocrestr genedlaethol o botensial egni gwyrdd yng Nghymru, yn esblygu i mewn i gynllun egni a datblygiad a chwmnïau egni cynhenid a chynlluniau egni cymunedol.

·    Canolbwyntio ar adfywiad habitat, a chynyddu cyllid Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru, gan wneud yn siŵr fod dirwyon am lygru yn ddigon llym i rwystro llygru.

·    Sefydlu ail-goedio Cymru fel targed cenedlaethol, i gyflawni lleiafswm o 20% o arwynebedd coediog ym mhob ardal drefol. Deddfu fod angen trwydded i dorri coed, a phlannu coed wedyn.

·    Gwahardd plastigion defnydd-sengl ar unwaith (yn 2021).

·    Danfuddsoddi pensiynau awdurdodau lleol o danwydd ffosil.

·    Addo i gadw’r llinell hedfan Gogledd-Dde, rhywbeth mae amgylcheddwyr yn gytûn sydd yn anghydfod â’r angen i leihau trafnidiaeth awyr.

Y Ceidwadwyr:

·    Allyriadau carbon net sero erbyn 2050.

·    Creu “Metro Gogledd Cymru”, gan integreiddio trafnidiaeth actif â thrafnidiaeth gyhoeddus.

·    15,00 o swyddi “coler gwyrdd”.

·    Gwahardd plastigion defnydd-sengl nad yw ar gyfer defnydd meddygol, a datblygu a defnyddio system dychwelyd ernes.

·    Sefydlu Swyddfa Annibynnol dros Warchodaeth Amgylcheddol a Newid Hinsawdd i ddal y llywodraeth i gyfrif.

·    Pob cartref yn sero-carbon erbyn 2026, a chefnogi cartrefi i gryfhau effeithlonrwydd egni cartrefi gan ddefnyddio vouchers £5,000-10,000.

·    Gweithio â chwmnïau bws i drydaneiddio’r fflyd.

·    Rhestr troseddwr anifeiliaid, a chronfa bywyd gwyllt £30m.

·    Diddymu Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru i wella tryloywder.

·    Gwellhad ffyrdd anferthol, gan gynnwys bwrw ymlaen â’r cynlluniau a gafodd eu canslo gynt i adeiladu ffordd ryddhad yr M4 yn Ne Cymru, ac uwchraddio’r A55 a’r A40 yn Ne a Gorllewin Cymru, yn ogystal ag uwchraddio’r A470.

Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol:

·    Allyriadau carbon net sero erbyn 2050.

·    Creu pecyn buddsoddi o £1bn y flwyddyn i ymladd yr argyfwng newid hinsawdd, creu swyddi, a sefydlu'r gadwyn gyflenwad, a buddsoddi mewn technoleg newydd.

·    Deddf gartrefi gwyrdd i dorri biliau cartrefi o £500, ac adeiladu cartrefi clyfrach, mwy effeithlon.

·    Gweithredu er mwyn amddiffyn amgylchedd naturiol a bioamrywiaeth Cymru drwy ailgoedwigo, cadwraeth bywyd gwyllt, oddi wrth golli gofodau gwyrdd cyhoeddus.

·    Danfuddsoddi pensiynau awdurdodau lleol o ynni ffosil.

·    Ceisio datganoli Stad y Goron er mwyn cefnogi darpariaeth frys o fwy o ynni adnewyddadwy arfordirol.

Plaid Werdd Cymru:

·    Allyriadau carbon net sero erbyn 2050.

·    Danfuddsoddi pensiynau awdurdodau lleol o ynni ffosil.

·    Cronfa Drawsnewidiad Gwerdd i ariannu datgarboneiddio ar unwaith.

·    Symud i “Economi Buddiant”.

Mynediad

Mae’n amlwg fod Llafur a Phlaid Cymru yn teimlo fod cryfhau ein gallu i fyned i ofodau gwyrdd yng nghefn gwlad ac yn drefol yn rhywbeth sy’n gallu denu pleidlais. Mae’r Ceidwadwyr yn cynnig yr hawl i gymryd asedau cymunedol drosodd (megis gofodau gwyrdd neu lyfrgelloedd), heb lawer mwy. Mae’r Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol a’i maniffesto byrhoedlog yn llwyddo i addo hawl hawdd i wasanaethau hanfodol (gan gynnwys gofodau gwyrdd fel un), ond does fawr ddim mwy i’w drafod ganddynt.

Llafur:

·    Dynodi Bryniau Clwyd a Dyffryn Dyfrdwy yng Ngogledd Ddwyrain Cymru fel parc cenedlaethol newydd.

·    Dynodi dyfroedd mewnol Cymru ar gyfer hamddena, gan anelu am safonau monitro uchel, i gyd fynd â safonau traethau Cymru.

·    Creu a gwella gofodau gwyrdd sydd yn werthfawr i gymunedau gan gynnwys safleoedd peillio, cynefinoedd, a safleoedd tyfu bwyd cymunedol, perllannau, coedwigoedd bychain, a gerddi synhwyraidd.

·    Adnabod tirwedd llechi Gogledd-orllewin Cymru (sy’n mor annwyl i ddringwyr) fel Safle Treftadaeth Byd.

Plaid:

·    Ymchwilio i mewn i greu Parc Cenedlaethol yn y Môr ym Mae Ceredigion, a’r Môr Celtaidd.

·    Defnyddio’r system gynllunio i greu gofodau gwyrdd naturiol ar gael i bobl yn eu cymunedau fel hawl sylfaenol.

Ceidwadwyr:

·    Cronfa berchnogaeth gymunedol, a’r hawl i greu cynnig i gymryd drosodd asedau cymunedol megis tafarndai, llyfrgelloedd, neu ofodau gwyrdd sydd o dan fygythiad.

Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol:

·    Mabwysiadu’r syniad o “gymdogaeth 20 munud” ym mhob cynllun a phenderfyniad, gan olygu fod gwasanaethau hanfodol (gan gynnwys gofodau gwyrdd) o fewn siwrnai o 20 munud drwy gerdded, beicio, neu ar drafnidiaeth gyhoeddus.

Plaid Werdd Cymru:

·    Addo i annog iechyd da a mynediad i ofodau gwyrdd.

 

Dyfyniadau o’r Hysting BMC Cymru:

“Mae angen i ni wneud mynediad i’r awyr agored, mwynhad yn yr awyr agored, barddoniaeth a rhyddiaith yr awyr agored ar gael i bawb- nid dim ond y rhai â’r cit drud, nid dim ond y rhai a’r four-wheel-drive... dyna ble mae’r fantais yn dod. Trawsnewid iechyd ffisegol a meddyliol pobl.” Huw Irranca-Davies, Llafur.

“Fe welais i o lygad y ffynnon effaith yr awyr agored, a sialensiau’r awyr agored, ac fe welais ef fel effaith anhygoel o gadarnhaol” Mai Rees, Ceidwadwyr

“Yn fy marn i, y bygythiad mwyaf i fynediad rhydd, gofodau gwyrdd, a’r mynyddoedd, yw’r terfyn amser 2026 ar gyfer rhestru hawl i dramwyo- gallai effaith hynny fod yn sylweddol iawn iawn”- Jonathan Clarke, Plaid Cymru

Y Lleill:

Gwlad Gwlad- er eu bod wedi rhyddhau maniffesto enfawr 43 tudalen o hyd, nid oes mawr sôn am newid hinsawdd, bioamrywiaeth neu hawl dramwy mewn unrhyw ffordd o bwys heblaw am gefnogi tyrbeini gwynt yn y môr, ond eu condemnio nhw ar y tir mawr.

The rest:

Abolish The Assembly- yn debyg iawn yn eu tramwy, gan wrthwynebu amddiffyniadau amgylcheddol, gan beidio trafod newid hinsawdd, yn penderfynu ei bod hi’n bwysicach i ddiddymu arwyddion dwyieithog ac adeiladu ffordd rhyddhad yr M4.

Mae platfform Reform UK yn cynnwys egni llanw, gwared ar amddiffyniadau amgylcheddol, a buddsoddi mewn ceir trydanol. Maent hefyd yn rhannu uchelgais Llafur i greu coedwig genedlaethol.

Mae UKIP, sydd dal rhywsut yn dal swydd etholedig yng Nghymru, eisiau “gwahanu dogma newid hinsawdd ddynol oddi wrth gadwraeth”, gan fynnu nad oes y fath beth ac argyfwng hinsawdd. Er hyn, maent yn addo i gadw safonau amgylcheddol uchel yng Nghymru ar ôl Brecsit i amddiffyn safon ein dŵr, aer, a’n coedwigoedd.

Mae Propel, sydd wedi canghu oddi wrth Blaid Cymru, eisiau sefydlu diwydiant egni gwladoledig er mwyn echdynnu tanwydd ffosil, wrth ddod yn arweinwyr byd ar dynnu carbon o’r atmosffer a’i gadw. Maent yn bwriadu amddiffyn gofodau gwyrdd, ond hefyd yn wrthgyferbyniol, ehangu ac uwchraddio ffyrdd o amgylch Cymru, a hefyd ail-greu'r system drenau Gogledd-De. 

Cofiwch i fwrw eich pleidlais ar Fai'r 6ed!

WATCH: Respect The Wild on BMC TV


The BMC AGM is being held virtually on Saturday 15 May 2021

Have your say, make your voice count with your vote.
It would be fantastic to see as many members as possible join us.

This year, the BMC’s AGM is being held virtually using the platform Zoom webinar. You can join us on Saturday 15 May at 9am to have your say on the running of the BMC, from the comfort of your own home.

READ: More about the 2021 AGM and how to vote and attend

MEET: The candidates standing for Elected Positions at the 2021 AGM

LATEST UPDATES: Read the report from the BMC Governance Working Group


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