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Securing our Sustainability

We're about to go live with Securing our Sustainability - an illustrative strategy to help public sector organisations in Wales and beyond create plans that are capable of delivering the actual rate of change that's needed. My introduction is pasted below, and the rest of the document will be on line in a few days.

Lead in: Andy Middleton – TYF EcoSapiens

The largest changes in our move towards creating a sustainable future for Wales will be based on infrastructure, engineering, transport and the built environment as much as they are concerned with behaviour change by individual citizens.

Before we dismiss as out of hand consideration of whether or not change on this scale is possible, it’s important we go through three fundamental steps of enquiry to give ourselves a solid base of considered thought on which to base our decisions. Firstly, consider from a philosophical stand point whether it is appropriate to have a plan that could give a 30 fold improvement to the likelihood of avoiding the worst impacts of dangerous climate change. Secondly, prepare ourselves and our colleagues psychologically for the journey that such transformation will require; progress through such a changing landscape will require courage, self knowledge, flexibility and perception, the likes of which have not been asked for in our lifetimes. The final step before we embark on this process of considered change is to look carefully at what has already been achieved in Wales and beyond that provides evidence that radical, profitable and life affirming progress is possible.

A broad consensus is emerging which points to 2030 as the horizon deadline by which we must have achieved energy, food and carbon security; this date is around 5000 days away from today. Research into the nature of large scale engineering or infrastructure projects suggests at least 15%-20% total project time is needed to produce the detail of plan and coordination necessary to deliver a successful outcome. Applying the same logic to planning for sustainable change suggests that we would have a complete, budgeted blueprint in place at the end of 2012.

We recognise the difficulties associated with expecting politicians to call for actions which are not popular with their electorate. In part, this document attempts to light a path and clear some of the obstacles to allow our political and civic leaders to talk openly and passionately about a scale of change that they can support through policy, strategy and personal leadership.

The date point on our time-line will move certainly and steadily forwards; our challenge is to ensure that actions and commitment keep pace with what is needed to provide security for ourselves, our organisations and community into the future.

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