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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 October 2006, 18:56 GMT 19:56 UK
Carbon rules for new businesses
Industrial chimneys
The climate change group will provide advice on the issue in Wales
Major new Welsh business will be expected to reduce their carbon emissions by 10%, says the assembly environment minister.

Carwyn Jones announced a change to planning guidelines for local councils.

From now on, carbon levels will have to be a consideration for any new significant development.

But campaign group Friends of the Earth Cymru described the change as a "feeble" one.

Mr Jones made his announcement at the first meeting of an advisory group set up to examine the climate change issue in Wales.

He told delegates that local authorities would have to consider carbon emissions as part of the planning process for all major new developments.

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Source: Welsh Assembly Government

This might involve the business generating its own energy by installing solar panels or even wind turbines.

Mr Jones said: "It is down to all of us to take action, without exception."

He added that although progress on energy efficiency in the public sector had been "encouraging," more action was needed.

'Political will'

He said: "I expect all local authorities to secure more sustainable buildings by reducing carbon emissions. This should include a requirement that significant developments reduce their predicted CO2 emissions by 10%".

Carwyn Jones, environment minister
Climate change is 'one of the most serious issues facing the world'

Examples of good practice include the new community hospital at Llwynypia in the Rhondda, which is due to open in 2008.

The hospital's bio-mass boiler will supply 77% of the hospital's energy needs.

The Welsh Local Government Association said it was "fully behind" the announcement and said councils were already signed up to it.

"It will do much to support local planning authorities to tackle climate change," said Richard Parry Hughes, WLGA spokesman on the environment and planning.

"This new development will strengthen the innovative work that is already happening across a number of local authorities, such as in Wrexham and Bridgend."

But Friends of the Earth Cymru called on the assembly government to be much more radical in its approach to climate change and that it should be the main concern for all planning decisions.

"Many of the solutions, such as improvements in energy efficiency, renewable energy developments and cleaner forms of transport, already exist," said spokesman Gordon James.

"What has been lacking has been the political will to implement these measures on a sufficient scale."

Mr James said there needed to be a "significant shift" from road building to public transport and cycling and walking facilities.




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