On the 6th of May, Wales decides who will represent them in the Senedd, the parliament of Wales, and in turn, the makeup of the next Welsh Government.

This election is a bit more special than normal because, for the first time, 16 & 17-year-olds and foreign nationals are able to vote!

A few weeks ago, we published our Manifesto for Global Solidarity in Wales, where we set out 10 recommendations for the future of a sustainable global development model.

Now the election campaign has kicked off in earnest, and the parties have published their manifestos, let’s see what they say about our sector!

The Welsh Conservatives manifesto does not contain any reference to the global solidarity sector, there are however a few things to note:

  • In the chapter ‘Build back greener’, they promise to set a target of net-zero carbon emissions in Wales by 2050 and a target for all new homes to be zero carbon by 2026
  • In the Wales Overseas Agencies Group Senedd election debate, the Welsh Conservative candidate for South Wales West and Cardiff Central, Calum Davies, spoke about his belief that this sector is not within Wales’ competence and so the Welsh Government should not be working here
  • Davies went on to make clear his own personal position that he is supportive of committing 0.7% of GNI to aid and his faith that the cut announced by FCDO is temporary.

Read the Welsh Conservative manifesto here.

The Plaid Cymru manifesto contains a chapter called “Wales and the World” in which:

  • Plaid Cymru committed to developing the partnership between the Government, British Council Wales, Universities Wales, and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW)
  • Enhancing the Wales and Africa programme by growing the Hub Cymru Africa partnership
  • Continuing to work with Size of Wales, the Mount Elgon Tree Growing Enterprise and other partners in Uganda
  • Eliminating importation of products that cause deforestation
  • Updating procurement policies to remove goods that cause deforestation and utilise local, sustainable goods
  • Support partners in producer nations to move to a sustainable, inclusive and equitable supply chain
  • Support the fair trade movement through expanding initiatives such as Coffee 2020 and Fair Do’s Siopa Teg
  • Take forward the gender and equality pilot project in Uganda and Lesotho
  • Welcomes the establishment of the Peace Academy / Academi Heddwch and commits to working with the Academi and WCIA to focus on peace in future Government international strategies and policies
  • create and implement a Race Equality Action Plan, taking forward the detailed report and recommendations of Professor Ogbonna for the Government.

Read the Plaid Cymru manifesto here.

The Welsh Labour manifesto contains 10 chapters with relevant information in two of them:

  • In Chapter 5 – A Greener Energy & Environment – Welsh Labour highlight the success of the Wales and Africa programme in planting more than 15 million trees in Uganda
  • In Chapter 10 – Our Nation – the establishment of a Peace Academy / Academi Heddwch to help shape future Government international strategies and programmes is listed as a promise
  • A promise to implement and fund the commitments made in our Race Equality Action Plan
  • During the WOAG Senedd Election debate, the Welsh Labour candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan, Jane Hutt, made specific mention of Hub Cymru Africa saying how “important” they thought it and its work was to the sector and invoking the vocabulary of its recent summit – Global Solidarity Summit – as being what Wales should be about – global solidarity
  • Hutt went on to condemn the merger of DFID and FCO, and also the cut to the 0.7% of GNI commitment to aid
  • Hut mentioned the good work that Fair Trade Wales did during Fairtrade Fortnight highlighting the impact of climate change on our partners, specifically mentioning Jenipher’s Coffee
  • Committed to the Wales and Africa programme and made clear that going forward partnerships are partner-led and that Welsh Government involvement should be kept focused on Africa for now.

Read the Welsh Labour manifesto here.

The Welsh Liberal Democrat manifesto contains no reference to the global solidarity sector however there are a few points to note, particularly on the climate and the environment:

  • The Welsh Liberal Democrats would pledge to declare a nature and biodiversity crisis
  • They promise to “take action” on flooding, reforestation, wildlife conservation, marine conservation, and loss of open, public green space
  • Pledge £1 billion per year to fight the climate emergency
  • The ‘Wales and the World’ section only contains references to Welsh economic development and not global solidarity work
  • During the WOAG Senedd Election debate, Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for Clwyd South, Leena Farhat, made clear that their party is a globalist party that is committed to responding to the climate emergency and building on our status as a ‘Nation of Sanctuary’ to recognise climate refugees within our policy-making and incorporating a “rights-based” approach to our recovery to make sure it’s inclusive and positive for communities here in Wales and across the world
  • In response to a point about devolved competency, Farhat said that our ambition to build partnerships with other nations and the global community should not be stopped by international development being a competency held at Westminster
  • Farhat went further to condemn the cut to the 0.7% of GNI allocated to the sector
  • On forestation, Farhat called for “immediate action” on deforestation and other environmental issues including “flooding” and “marine conservation”
  • According to Farhat, the Welsh Liberal Democrats support the National Forest for Wales but also want to ensure every town in Wales becomes a “tree-town” with minimum levels of tree cover
  • Farhat went on to label the Wales and Africa programme one of the “jewels in the crown that has been our Senedd… that has done a lot of good” with an ambition to see it broadened to seek partners establishing independence from the programme and to identify other, new partners.
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Read the Welsh Liberal Democrat manifesto here.

  • Promise to  deliver UN SDG 4.7 to ensure all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development
  • Support the work of the Peace Academy / Academi Heddwch.

Read the Wales Green Party 2021 manifesto here.

  • UKIP want to abolish the Welsh Parliament through a referendum
  • Abolish ‘Nation of Sanctuary’ status
  • Scrap the Climate Change Act (2008)
    • N.B. This is an act of the UK Parliament
  • Leave the Paris Climate Agreement
    • N.B. This is a reserved competency held by the UK Parliament.

Read the UKIP manifesto here.

There is zero mention of Wales’ role in the world in Gwlad’s manifesto, there are however a couple of points to note:

  • Scrap any effort to achieve net-carbon neutrality in favour of building sea defences, river dredging and water transportation
  • Oppose “wholesale planting of vast tracts of trees” but support “planting of native trees for environmental benefit”.

Read Gwlad’s manifesto here.

There is zero mention of Wales’ role in the world in Propel’s manifesto, there are however a few points to note:

  • Establish a publicly owned company to extract natural gas for burning as a fuel
  • Rely on apparent savings in energy consumption to invest in renewable energy
  • Use universities to develop carbon capture and storage technology
  • Create a new public procurement strategy to move towards 100% of services/goods procured from Wales
  • Environmental improvements will be led by the agricultural sector

Read the 2021 Propel Manifesto here.

The Welsh Communist Party manifesto contains no reference to our sector, however, there are a few things to note on climate and the environment:

  • A complete shift to renewable energy sources with the use of “clean coal” and “carbon capture” during the transition
  • Use “a proportion of Welsh agricultural land” for natural carbon capture through reforestation and reinstatement of natural bogs
  • Abandon international carbon-trading schemes in favour of a directly regulated industry and carbon reduction funded from and taxation.

Read the Welsh Communist Party manifesto here.

The Reform UK party manifesto has been named a ‘contract with the people’. This contract contains no reference to global solidarity work however there is  one area to note in the final chapter – ‘Environment’:

  • Support mass reforestation through the creation of a ‘National Forest for Wales’.

Read the Reform UK contract with the people here.

  • As the name suggests, the party want to abolish the Welsh Parliament through a referendum
  • They have rebranded their manifesto as a ‘policy statement’
  • Their statement on the environment includes abolishing Natural Resources Wales, reduce environmental standards for nitrate pollution and scale back rewilding projects.

Read the manifesto here.

To find out more on who is standing in your area, head to Democracy Club’s WhoCanIVoteFor.co.uk for information on every candidate standing and if you’re voting in person and not by post, head to WhereDoIVote.co.uk to find out where your local polling place is.