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Make oranges a luxury to cut carbon, Welsh minister urges

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Buying fruit out of season should be considered a luxury, Wales’ climate change minister has said.

Julie James says cutting down on imported fruit and vegetables would help reduce Wales’ carbon footprint.

She outlined a major new strategy to the BBC just ahead of climate conference Cop26, which aims to encourage people to live more environmentally-friendly lives by buying local, travelling less, and reducing electricity use.

She said: “If you’re buying oranges out of season, they should be a luxury treat, not something you take for granted.

"With our global supply chains, we’ve lost track of that.

"It keeps our local farmers happy, local industries working well and makes our world a more sustainable place for our children and our grandchildren."

The Welsh government has announced a £4.2bn "decade of action" to meet climate change targets and achieve a net zero economy in the next few decades.

These include plans on achieving cleaner air, putting an end to harmful agricultural pollution, a decisive shift away from fossil fuel extraction and towards green energy, working towards a net zero public sector in Wales by 2030, and going beyond recycling and making Wales a zero-waste nation.

The First Minister Mark Drakeford has also announced the creation of a National Forest for Wales, where a connected forest ecosystem will extend the length of the country.

Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths said: “We were the first country in the world to declare a climate emergency, but now we will use the new science to make our long-held ambition of a Net Zero Wales a reality.

“While we have set our intention to achieve this by 2050 in law today, we will continue to do all we can to get there sooner.

“The global climate outlook is grave, and we will not shy away from stopping harmful emissions being pumped into our atmosphere and heating our planet. Business as usual is not an option.”

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