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Welsh government pledges £1.8bn for green investment

THE Welsh government has pledged £1.8 billion for green investment as part of its new Budget, it was revealed today.

The three-year draft Budget is due to be announced by Finance Minister Rebecca Evans after the Morning Star goes to print and set out the government’s future priorities.

It is expected to include areas such as adult health and social care, local government, the climate crisis and post-lockdown economic recovery.

Green investment of more than £160 million in revenue and £1.8bn in capital will be committed over the period.

It will be spent on growing a national forest, creating biodiversity, active travel, the circular economy, renewable energy, flooding prevention and decarbonising housing.

In April 2019, Wales was the first country in the world to officially declare a climate emergency and in October this year, the Welsh government published Net Zero Wales, setting out its intention to make Wales net-zero by 2050.

Ms Evans said that the Budget would “shape the Wales we want to hand over to future generations” by funding ways to “cut emissions and be a greener nation.”

“This Budget will leave Wales in a better place to manage the effects of the climate and nature emergency that are already affecting so many communities in Wales, and will only affect more in the future,” she said.

“We can never lose sight of the importance of protecting our planet.”

The Budget is also expected to set aside funding for policies in the Labour-Plaid co-operation agreement, which includes free school meals.

Officials have said that constructing the Budget has been challenging in the wake of Westminster’s spending review in October, which ministers have said gave Wales a “lower-than-expected” settlement.

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