The Member of the Welsh Parliament for Aberconwy – Janet Finch-Saunders MS – has urged the Welsh Government to outline how they will increase urban tree planting to assist with temperature regulation, following the publication of the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA3) Summary for Wales which made clear that more action was needed to safeguard health and well-being from a rise in temperatures.
A recent study has found that the shade caused by large and leafy trees can have a “profound cooling effect” of up to 12 degrees. In a Written Question to the Minister for Climate Change, Janet asked:
“Further to the publication of CCRA3, will the Minister confirm what studies the Welsh Government are planning so as to review the impact of urban tree planting on temperature regulation in our towns and cities?
Commenting, Janet – who is the Shadow Minister for Climate Change – said:
“A lesser highlighted part of the CCRA3 report found that climate change is likely to increase heat-related mortality, heat stroke and heat exhaustion indoors. Indeed, the present and future magnitude of this risk is high for Wales, and the experts are telling us that more action is needed.
“Whilst there is a need to include measures to prevent overheating in Building Regulations and other housing policy, especially to increase the use of passive cooling measures, by increasing urban tree planting we can reduce temperatures whilst supporting biodiversity recovery.
“Recent studies have determined that the trees we plant now will be determining the temperatures of our cities in the next century. By increasing urban planting, we can counteract the higher temperatures associated with the existing tarmacking and concrete structures.”