Welsh government seeks new era infrastructure commissioners

Following the appointment of David Clubb as chair of the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales (NICW) in November 2021, it is now advertising for a deputy chairperson and six commissioners.

However, the scope of the organisation has also changed, putting ecologists ahead of engineers.

The Welsh government established the NICW in 2018 to advise on infrastructure challenges and make recommendations. It has now had its terms of reference re-written to put ecology front and centre – all of the commission’s deliberations, analysis and conclusions of any infrastructure projects must now take account of climate change threats and ecological issues. The timeframe of the infrastructure under consideration has also increased from five to 30 years to five to 80 years to take account of the fact that much of the infrastructure under consideration will have a lifespan of considerably longer than 30 years.

Deputy minister for climate change Lee Waters said: “We face huge challenges in tackling climate change and I want to sharpen the commission’s focus in that area. The changes to the terms of reference will ensure the climate and nature emergencies are at the forefront of the commission’s deliberations on infrastructure projects under consideration.”

The new chair, David Clubb, is a chartered physicist who runs a sustainability consultancy. He said: “I am looking forward to leading the National Infrastructure Commission for Wales into this new phase. I am pleased that the Welsh Government has confirmed funding for us to start working on improving the long-term outcomes for infrastructure in Wales. I am keen to encourage applications from people who are curious about ways in which infrastructure can better serve the people, communities, businesses and ecosystems of Wales. I look forward to hearing from a diverse range of candidates from a variety of backgrounds across Wales.”

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