Business leaders, academics and politicians discuss latest plans to tackle the climate emergency in West Yorkshire

Agenda included updates on the West Yorkshire Climate and Environment Plan, decarbonising transport and improving energy efficiency in homes

Business leaders, academics and politicians from across West Yorkshire met yesterday (Tuesday, March 23) to discuss the latest steps being taken to tackle the climate emergency and achieve the region’s ambition of a net zero carbon economy by 2038.  

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Climate, Energy and Environment Committee is made up of councillors from the five local authorities as well as industry experts including representatives from the University of Leeds, Northern Powergrid and Yorkshire Water.   

Members discussed plans to prioritise critical actions set out in the West Yorkshire Climate and Environment Plan over the next three years to cut emissions across the region, make homes more efficient, cut energy bills, support nature recovery and ensure communities and businesses are prepared for the impacts of a changing climate.  

Indicative funding of £40million has been allocated from the Combined Authority’s devolution deal with the Government towards funding actions in the plan.  

The Committee heard an update on plans to decarbonise transport – the highest emitting sector in the region accounting for 44% of all carbon emissions – including the recent £23million bid to the Government’s Zero Emission Bus Regional Area Fund.  

And there was also an update on the creation of a Better Homes Yorkshire Hub. Chaired by the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, the hub will work with local authorities, housing associations and other partners to improve energy efficiency in homes, bringing down carbon emissions and energy bills.   

Mark Roberts, Deputy Chair of the Climate, Energy and Environment Committee and Co-founder of Beer Hawk, said:

“West Yorkshire has an ambitious target of transitioning to a net zero carbon economy by 2038 at the latest, with significant progress by 2030.  

“Across our region, we have already made great progress in a number of areas including installing electric vehicle charging points, protecting communities from flooding, and securing money to make homes more energy efficient.  

“The actions set out in the West Yorkshire Climate and Environment Plan will build on this and it’s vital we work together across the public and private sectors, in collaboration with our diverse communities, to accelerate our ambition.”  

Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, said:

“When I was elected, I made a promise to the people of our region to prioritise work to tackle the climate and environment emergency whilst also creating 1,000 well-paid, skilled jobs in the green sector.  

“The transition to a net zero carbon economy presents many opportunities for our region including creating an affordable and sustainable transport network, making our homes warmer and lowering bills, and improving the quality of the air we all breathe.  

“That’s why it’s vital that we work together across the region to ensure no-one is left behind and the benefits are felt across all of our communities.”