The UK government has vowed to cut emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 and Wales must play catch-up in this life-changing transformation.

Westminster's plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 78 per cent by 2035 to tackle climate change will  transform our homes, commutes and even diets.

Delivering on the plans will mean an end to heating homes with natural gas boilers, shifting to a lower meat and dairy diet, and a switch to driving electric vehicles or ditching the car more often for walking, cycling or public transport.

Cuts to emissions from buildings, which account for 17 per cent of the UK’s climate pollution, are a priority, and the first goal will be to reduce the amount of energy that is wasted in heating.

That means millions of rented, owned and council flats and houses will need to be made more energy efficient, with measures including insulation and double or triple glazing.

Cutting carbon will mean getting people out of their cars and cycling and walking instead.

We will also not be heating our homes with natural gas or oil boilers in the coming decades, with the UK Government’s advisory Climate Change Committee (CCC) calling for an end to sales of new gas boilers by 2033 for most buildings.

And the CCC has already warned that Wales is not yet on track to meet existing, less ambitious goals to cut emissions.

By 2018 - the latest year for which data is available - Wales had seen a 31 per cent fall in greenhouse gas emissions, compared with 1990 levels.

New legal targets will force a 63 per cent reduction by 2030 and 89 per cent by 2040, with Wales reaching 'net zero' - effectively a 100% cut - by 2050.

As reported by BBC Wales in February: "The [Welsh] government said it was accepting the recommendations made by the CCC in a report to Welsh ministers in December.

It had described the 2020s as a "crucial decade" if targets were to be achieved.

"The [CCC] advisers said a net zero Wales was possible with action on uptake of low-carbon vehicles and boilers, while industry in south Wales needed to work together to move away from fossil fuels or install carbon capture and storage technology by the mid 2030s.

"Low carbon electricity generation needed to shift from 27 per cent now to 100% by 2035, and buildings better insulated so less power was used and wasted."


The majority of homes will switch to heat pumps powered by electricity. 'Air source' heat pumps look like an air conditioning unit on the outside of buildings and work a bit like a fridge in reverse to generate heat from the outside air to provide heating and hot water in the home. There are also heat pumps that use the ground or water to generate heat.

Some houses in certain areas may switch to hydrogen boilers or may be hooked up to district heating systems, while the shift from gas will also mean a switch to cooking on electric induction hobs.

The sounds – and smells – on our streets will also change as part of efforts to tackle transport emissions, which are the biggest source of pollution in the UK, contributing 30 per cent of carbon emissions, mostly from road transport.

The sale of new petrol and diesel cars, motorbikes and vans, including plug-in hybrids, will have to be phased out by the early 2030s, and even HGVs will start to shift to greener alternatives.

Hundreds of thousands of acres of mixed woodland will also need to be planted as part of efforts to cut carbon. That will mean more electric vehicles and charging points, and people will also need to use their cars less, with more home working and more journeys on foot, bike or public transport – with buses and trains also going green.

Growth in demand for flights will have to slow, and flying may become more expensive to reduce demand – particularly for people who fly often who may face a frequent flyer levy.

People will be encouraged to cut how much meat and dairy they eat – with the Committee on Climate Change recommending a 20 per cent shift away from those products by 2030 – and to waste less food.

Even the countryside could look different, with the creation of more than a million acres of new mixed woodland by 2035 to absorb carbon from the atmosphere, more carbon-friendly farming, bioenergy crops, bigger hedgerows and restored peatland areas.

Additional reporting BBC Wales.