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03 October 2010
Investing in green jobs, reducing carbon emissions and ensuring a sustainable future for Welsh communities should not become ‘an easy target’ in tough times – especially as investing in sustainable solutions can help support Wales’ economic recovery, a leading Cardiff University expert will argue this week.
Professor Terry Marsden – Director of Cardiff University’s new Sustainable Place Research Institute and a leading expert in sustainable development, will warn of the dangers of making sustainable development ‘an easy target’ ahead of the UK Government’s comprehensive spending review.
"We must be smarter and find new ways of working when funding cuts loom" Professor Marsden will say. "Wales remains one of only a handful of countries in the world to have a statutory duty to consider sustainable development.
"Whilst it’s tempting to see sustainable development as a luxury – especially when finances are tight, cutting funding for sustainable projects is not the way to support or help support our long-term economic economy and ensure a sustainable future for communities across Wales," he added.
Professor Marsden’s warning comes as Cardiff University launches its new Sustainable Places Research Institute.
The Research Institute brings together world-leading researchers – and has been designed to focus on sustainable solutions for all parts of the world - including Wales.
Experts from across the University will be working on creating comprehensive solutions by combining experts in buildings, energy systems, communities, the natural environment, infrastructure, health and policy-making – who often work in isolation elsewhere.
His call follows the UK Government’s decision to withdraw funding for the Sustainable Development Commission – the sustainable development watchdog.
Professor Marsden will say: "The Sustainable Development Commission has played a crucial role in helping Government departments work together to tackle the triple threats of climate change, economic downturn and inequality - as well as keeping a critical check on progress.
"Everybody knows we are facing a heavy deficit, and we should not be too prescriptive about how the Government deals with it. There remains an ever increasing need to develop expertise and collaboration between sustainability scientists and policy makers – as we move forward in these challenging times.
"We really do have an opportunity to do things differently in Wales. The creation of the new Research Institute means we can look to work with AMs and Welsh MPs to continue to help improve intergenerational life chances and help create sustainable places."
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