Now is the time to tackle inequalities in Wales and build a better future for all says new report
Public Health Wales has joined forces with the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales to look at what challenges and opportunities the future may hold for creating a more equal Wales.
Through exploring three key trends, climate change, changes to how we work and demographic change, the new report, Inequality in A Future Wales, identifies actions to prevent socio-economic inequalities from being carried into the future.
Action on the report’s findings should include decision-makers integrating equality considerations into policy development across the board, as is set out in the Well-being of Future Generations Act, say its authors.
The report finds that making the best possible decisions when tackling future trends will require policy-makers to think about the long-term and involve the people and communities who will be affected.
Sumina Azam, Consultant in Policy and International Health at Public Health Wales, yesterday said:
“To create the future Wales we want, no-one can be left behind. This means recognising that many of the future challenges we face raise issues for equality but that by making good choices we can create a more equal Wales.
“For example, we know that those hardest hit by climate change are those who are already the most vulnerable. As we prepare for and respond to climate change, we must always be thinking about how our decisions impact on everyone in society in the short and long-term as well as future generations.
“Good health and well-being for everyone in Wales is a future we can create if we work together. We hope this report motivates us all to think beyond a ‘business as usual’ approach as we tackle the coming changes to our population, climate and world of work.”
The new report, jointly published by the commissioner and Public Health Wales, is accompanied by voices from a Welsh community devastated by floods and comes as world leaders gather at COP26 - the major United Nations climate change conference.
An estimated 245,000 properties in Wales are at risk of flooding - a result of climate change caused by rising carbon emissions. The report highlights how the poorest and most marginalised populations are least responsible for climate change, yet are most likely to be exposed to its negative effects and have the least resources to respond, cope and recover. This, says the commissioner, has been seen in North Wales in places like Llanrwst and Fairbourne, and also in Pontypridd which has been seriously affected by flooding.
To coincide with the report, Taylor Edmonds, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales’ Poet in Residence, collaborated with people in Llanrwst in the Conwy Valley, which has suffered extensive flooding over the past few years.
In the poem, Emerging from Winter, members of Llanrwst Flood Action Group speak of being ‘dragged from our beds at 3am to fill sandbags’ and question what kind of future their great grandchildren face.
Local schoolchildren at Ysgol Bro Gwidyr recorded readings of the poem for this poignant video.
Taylor, 26, will be reading the poem at a march through Cardiff this Saturday (November 6) organised by COP 26 Cardiff Coalition.
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