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Rob is originally from Porthcawl, living in Cardiff now for 14 years. He’s always lived a lan y mor and have always loved the sea and seaside culture. He lives with his partner who is also from a town near the seaside, she is from Wareham in Dorset. His dog named Britney is nervous around people so they love to get out of the city centre and head to walks on the undeveloped green spaces, the forestry and fields nearby. Rob’s career is in housing and homelessness, he works for a charity called Tai Pawb promoting equality in housing in Wales.

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In your view, what do our leaders here in Wales, the UK and around the world need to do to solve climate change?

We need to create a society and economy that performs to improve people’s health and wellbeing. Through policies that dismantle the current “consumption model” and replace it with an economic model that will incentivise safety and equality for those likely to be worst hit by climate change.

We cannot continue to let the responsibility for climate change be individualised. The household contribution to climate change is a very small proportion in comparison with the activity of big business which is accelerating us towards a cliff edge of climate change and biodiversity loss.

And we can’t be afraid to lead, we cannot let the power to act rest with the private sector firms. Firms who, even after contributing disproportionately to this mess will by virtue always seek to maximise their profits. As such they cannot be depended on to do anything other than pay lip service to the problem whilst continuing to perpetuate and feed the economic model of consumption. We need to plan an economy based on sustainable practices, we need policy making power and courage to use coercive measures, sanctions and divestment, to make this happen.

We need to start talking about the system change that is needed to speak to the climate change crisis. If Covid has taught us anything it’s that as a society we are unprepared for chaotic external environment events and that when they happen society starts to fall apart with disproportionate representation of protected groups amongst the worst effected. We need systems change to make sure not only that we alter our course towards climate change but also increase the social safety net for people in Wales. We need to focus on the symbiosis of altering our course and increasing the safety net, it’s in this domain that our work should begin.

Why have you become a Climate Cymru ambassador?

I believe strongly that tackling climate change is an entirely political problem. I’m here to help empower our leaders to take the necessary steps against climate change.

As a nation, what do you feel we need to do to truly influence change?

We need to make a political stand against unsustainable business practices that sets an example for the international community. We need to invest in people who will be negatively affected by system change, we need people retrained and redeployed to help us avert our course towards climate change.

What makes you optimistic for the future with regards to climate change?

The power of the youth, the voice of the leaders of the future. We need to listen to them and co-produce solutions together.

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Jane Davidson

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