'No place for empty promises' - 10,000 people across Wales demand climate action

The voices of 10,000 people across Wales demanding action on climate change have been represented by the building of an ice sculpture on the steps of the Senedd.

Climate Cymru says it aims to send world leaders a message that they want "strong and meaningful commitments to protect the things we love, and to make a better future for us all".

Next month, politicians from around the world will gather in Glasgow as the UK hosts the UN Climate Summit (COP 26).

On Tuesday, campaigners gathered on the steps of the Welsh Parliament as part of the 'ten thousand' campaign, where an ice sculpture of a heart was created.

Sam Ward, the Climate Cymru campaign manager spoke to ITV Wales reporter Ellie Pitt

Sam Ward, Campaign Manager for Climate Cymru said: "The ice heart sculpture at the upcoming event is beautiful, and temporary. It will soon melt away. Our window of opportunity for action to protect the things we love is also fleeting and impermanent".

"Our message to Welsh and UK Government ministers attending COP 26 is this: be bold, show leadership, push for concrete, timely action, inspire, and galvanise others on the world stage. There is a groundswell of public opinion behind you, who want real change".

The ice sculpture created by this local artist is supposed to depict how little time we have to tackle climate change.

Campaigners spoke to ITV Wales about their priorities for climate action.

"The future generations of Wales are really counting on politicians to take radical actions and make a difference", one person said.

Another protester said: "Politicians and law-makers need to act right now, there is no place for empty promises. We need to drop down our bias for different countries and different races and work together".

One campaigner summed up climate change simply as "the biggest challenge of our time".

There were politicians there on the steps of the Senedd to hear the campaigners' message.

Deputy Minister for Climate Change Lee Waters MS said the pandemic showed the possibilities of collective action when people agreed on the desired outcome.

He said: "In the next 10 years, we have to make more cuts to our carbon emissions in Wales than we have in the whole last 30 years. It is a huge challenge ahead of us.

"We need to go further than we have before and we need to go faster than before. That involves doing things differently and that is difficult". The Welsh Conservative MS Janet Finch-Saunders added her voice to the campaign too.

"Let's just get on with it. We are all wanting to work cross-party to do this, so there are no barriers them saying well you know we can't spend the resources on that - yes they can".

Climate Cymru said Wales has an important part to play in tackling climate change, and says their campaign aims to make sure the Welsh and UK Government are showing leadership with meaningful, evidence-based and just commitments at COP26. 

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