ALL new school and college buildings and refurbishments in Wales will be required to meet Net Zero Carbon targets from January.

Buildings will have to produce zero or negative carbon emissions as part of their operational energy.

The first generation of schools and colleges under the new rules will also be required to demonstrate a 20 per cent reduction on the amount of embodied carbon. This is the carbon emitted through construction materials and the construction process, with further reductions required in future, in line with the Welsh Government’s broader net zero carbon plans.

New proposed buildings will also include ambitious plans for biodiversity, active travel and electric vehicle charging facilities.

The announcement will help the Welsh Government achieve its commitment to becoming a net zero carbon nation by 2050.

Education and Welsh Language Minister, Jeremy Miles, said: “We should all be asking ourselves what we can do to help reverse the damage caused by climate change.

"Making sure our future buildings contribute positively is a significant step we can take.

“At the heart of our new curriculum is our aim to support learners to become ethical, informed citizens, who are committed to the sustainability of the planet. It’s essential we set an example to young people if we are to realise this ambition.”

The new Net Zero Carbon requirement will become part of the of Welsh Government’s flagship 21st Century Schools and Colleges programme.

Working in partnership with local authorities, the Welsh Local Government Association, colleges, Colleges Wales and Diocesan directors, it has supported the delivery of 180 new or improved school and college projects so far.