Combined Authority wins national award for ‘leadership in responding to the climate emergency’

Award recognises the innovative approach to reducing carbon emissions across the region

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has won the ‘Leadership in Responding to the Climate Emergency’ at the annual MJ Local Government Achievement Awards.

The Combined Authority declared a climate emergency in June 2019 and is working towards enabling West Yorkshire to be a net zero carbon economy by 2038 at the latest.

Over the past year, the Combined Authority has worked with its partners to strengthen existing commitments to help mitigate the impacts of climate change, put a number of programmes in place to help lower emissions and begun work to plan for net zero carbon future.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, said: “This marks a proud moment for the Combined Authority and I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who is working hard behind the scenes on our climate emergency agenda.

“We’re working in close partnership with our local councils, businesses and communities to ensure everyone feels the benefits that come with this transition including new jobs in green sectors, reduced air pollution and a sustainable, clean public transport network.

“There is no denying this is one of the greatest challenges we face – especially against the backdrop of an unpredictable global pandemic. But we must face this head on and not shy away from the difficult decisions that will need to be taken.”

Work already underway to tackle the climate emergency includes:

  • The Energy Accelerator – An innovative programme which is supporting 14 low carbon and energy efficient schemes around West Yorkshire, including an LED street lighting in Bradford and the Leeds District Heat Network, to save 250,000 tonnes of C02.
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Points – Work is underway to install 88 charging points for ultra-low emission taxis and private cars to encourage more people to make the switch from traditional petrol and diesel engines, and ensure 5% of our region’s taxis are electric powered by 2021.
  • Natural Flood Management – The Combined Authority and its partners has invested £1.7 million in natural flood management projects across Calderdale and Kirklees which will help to protect around 3,000 homes and more than 1,000 businesses and tackle the climate emergency.
  • Better Homes Yorkshire – Energy efficiency measures and new heating systems have been installed in over 4,000 properties helping to reduce bills, lower carbon emissions and alleviate fuel poverty.
  • CityConnect – More than £60 million has been invested in new cycling and walking schemes across West Yorkshire and York since 2015 helping more people to leave their cars at home, improving air quality and health.
  • Decarbonisation of our economy – A wide-ranging project (known as the Emissions Reduction Pathways) to identify the policies needed in different sectors of the economy, such as transport and industry, to ensure we reach net zero carbon by 2038 at the latest.
  • Strengthening decision making in light of the climate emergency – A comprehensive internal review of all our capital projects to assess their carbon impacts and determine how such impacts can be mitigated has been undertaken.

The MJ Awards were open to combined authorities and councils around the UK and recognise innovation, dedication and expertise in a number of different fields.

For full details of the awards visit The MJ Awards website.