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Former First Minister warns of climate crisis threat in new role


Former First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones has warned of the enormous threats facing Wales and the planet if efforts to curb climate change are not increased dramatically. He has pledged to do all he can to help as the new Chair of the environmental charity Size of Wales whilst urging the nation to join a day of climate action.

Following his decision to step down from the Senedd after twenty-two years of service, including nine as First Minister, Jones says he is making the climate a top priority in his post-politics life. In an article to be published today, he has outlined Wales’ vulnerability to climate change and how the Welsh coastline could be underwater by 2050 without decisive action to halt global warming. 

To inspire and empower people in Wales to become active on the environment, the former First Minister has called for everyone in Wales to join a national day of action on 25th June 2021 called Go Green Day. This annual Size of Wales initiative encourages people, schools, decision-makers, and businesses to take action and protect tropical forests.

In response to the rapid deforestation currently happening in places like the Amazon, the theme of Go Green Day 2021 is Wales for Forests. The campaign is encouraging participants to raise funds for forest protection projects supported by Size of Wales. It also calls for citizens to campaign for the newly elected Senedd to step up their efforts against tropical deforestation caused by everyday products consumed in Wales, such as unsustainable palm oil and beef from South America.

Former First Minister and new Size of Wales Chair of Trustees Carwyn Jones said:

“From my time as First Minister, I’ve dealt first-hand with the threat climate change poses to both our nation and our planet. The flooding of towns and cities, the breakdown of our agricultural system, and health problems caused by poor air quality are just some of the issues that await us unless decisive action is taken now.

“I may have left frontline politics, but I plan to continue campaigning on important matters, and there are few more important than climate change. Through my new role, I hope to inspire others to become climate activists and ensure Wales plays an important role in the global efforts against the climate crisis.”

Size of Wales Director Nicola Pulman said:

“We are delighted to have a nationally respected figure such as Carwyn join our organisation at this pivotal time. He not only brings a wealth of experience but a track record at the highest level of government in tackling climate change.

“We are passionate about connecting Wales to the rest of the world in protecting forests, and Carwyn is brilliantly placed to help us in this mission. I echo his calls for people to get involved with Size of Wales’ Go Green Day on 25th June and show Wales is united in wanting to protect our planet’s future.”

Size of Wales supports forest protection and tree growing projects in Africa, South America, and South-East Asia. It also runs a Wales-wide educational programme, funded by the Welsh Government, to help inform young people about climate change. In his new role, Carwyn will chair the organisation’s Board of Trustees and provide strategic leadership.

Carwyn has previously supported forest protection efforts in government and, in 2013, committed Welsh Government funding to the Mbale Trees Programme in Eastern Uganda. The programme, supported by Size of Wales and in partnership with local organisations, grows millions of trees each year. Carwyn visited the programme in 2014 and planted its one-millionth tree.

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