With just over a week to go before the Green Economy Conference takes place in Swansea Arena for the first time, council leaders have announced the topics they will be addressing in the opening session.
Swansea Council leader Rob Stewart will outline an ambitious vision, discussing the assets and initiatives that could make South West Wales a world leader in green energy and technology.
“The Swansea Bay City Deal – an investment of up to £1.3bn in projects including marine energy development and energy efficient homes – is key to that, boosting the regional economy by at least £1.8bn and generating thousands of jobs,” he said.
“Our natural assets offer spectacular potential as illustrated by the Celtic Freeport which will create a green investment corridor to help drive national decarbonisation. It’ll accelerate innovation and encourage significant investment, while fast-tracking modern skills for new green industries.”
He added that it will support the development of 16,000 green jobs, generate £5.5bn of new investment, and accelerate the roll-out of floating offshore wind, the hydrogen economy and the production of sustainable fuels.
“Our work alongside powerful partners in the pan-regional Western Gateway powerhouse will help us power the UK’s efforts to reach net zero whilst also providing new opportunities by supporting Innovation, connecting communities and championing investment,” he added.
Swansea Council has set targets of being a net zero council by 2030 and a net zero city by 2050.
“Doing all we can to realise these goals is important if we’re to help tackle climate change and leaving a more resilient and sustainable city for generations to come,” said Cllr Stewart.
“This is why sustainability is at the heart of our regeneration programme in Swansea, with the use of as much renewable energy, biodiversity, local suppliers and environmentally friendly materials as possible.
“It’s also encouraging the private sector to invest, with examples including the major proposed development in the area of Swansea port being led by DST Innovations. As well as a tidal lagoon, this transformational project is set to include a floating solar farm, a renewable energy transport hub, a high-tech battery manufacturing plant and storage facility, a hyper-scale data centre and hundreds of eco-homes anchored in the water.”
Swansea Council has grant and support schemes to help Swansea businesses cut their carbon footprints. These include a carbon reduction grant which can fund costs including renewable energy generation, energy conservation measures and changes to manufacturing processes which result in carbon reduction.
The council also offers free towards net zero carbon training which aims to equip businesses with the knowledge and skills to help achieve carbon neutrality, tackle climate change and save money on their energy bills. Visit the council stand at the conference on the day to learn more.
“We hope that 4 The Region’s Green Economy Conference will lead to more learning and sharing of best practices from across the region as businesses, other organisations and residents continue our journey towards a net zero future together,” said Cllr Stewart.
Also speaking in the opening session are Cllr Jeremy Hurley, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Economic Growth, Neath Port Talbot CBC; Cllr Paul Miller, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Place, the Region and Climate Change, Pembrokeshire County Council; and Cllr Aled Vaughan Owen, Cabinet Member for Climate Change decarbonisation and sustainable development for Carmarthenshire County Council, who will highlight the crucial role the green economy plays in addressing the environmental challenges and fostering sustainability.
His address will showcase the power of collaborative working across the public private and third sector taking place across the region to realise opportunities within the green economy sector and inspire the next generation.
The opening session will be followed by further sessions throughout the day, covering topics such as sustainable construction, creating a circular economy in the region, and how to decarbonise your business.
Zoe Antrobus, co-founder and managing director of 4theRegion, which organises the conference said:
“We’re delighted to welcome so much knowledge and expertise to the stage in Swansea Arena on November 22. The fact that key leaders from all the region’s county councils welcomed our invitation to speak at the opening session highlights how seriously our local authorities take the challenges and opportunities we all face when seeking to tackle the climate crisis.
“Whether you are a business owner keen to harness the environmental and business benefits of decarbonisation, a member of the public who wants to get their voice heard, or an ambassador for one of the numerous organisations working hard to ensure the wellbeing of our future generations, this conference is for you. Expect to be challenged, inspired, connected and informed.”