Plan to Tackle the Climate Emergency launched ahead of COP26

The Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, has launched the West Yorkshire Climate and Environment Plan to deliver a net zero carbon economy by 2038.

The Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, has today (Friday, October 22) launched the West Yorkshire Climate and Environment Plan to deliver a net zero carbon economy by 2038 at the latest. 

Ahead of the crucial COP26 summit on climate change, the Mayor has set out the steps that will be taken to radically overhaul the regional economy, creating new green jobs, transforming transport and ensuring warm, energy efficient homes for everyone. 

The plan, which was approved at the West Yorkshire Combined Authority meeting today, will also improve air quality, protect the environment and create better access to green spaces and nature.  

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “This is a crucial moment – we must act now to stop the devastating impact that the climate and environment emergency will have on all our lives. 

“When I became mayor, I made a number of pledges to the people of West Yorkshire which included tackling the climate emergency, creating new green jobs and improving the quality of housing. 

“The West Yorkshire Climate and Environment Plan will deliver on those pledges and ensure that we create a region where everyone in all communities can really feel the benefits of a net zero carbon economy.” 

At the Combined Authority meeting, the Mayor committed to bring forward a Climate and Environment Fund and secure the £85 million needed to start the delivery of the plan over the next three years.  

The plan builds on the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s ongoing work to tackle the climate emergency which has contributed to an overall 38% reduction in carbon emissions in the Leeds City Region since 2005, compared to 27% nationally.    

It is based on a detailed scientific study, the Carbon Emission Reduction Pathways, which was carried out in 2020 looking at all sectors of the regional economy and examining how and when they could decarbonise.  

The plan focuses on priority themes for action, which are fair and inclusive for all, including:  

  • Decarbonising transport and increasing walking, cycling and use of public transport 
  • Creating sustainable green jobs, training and upskilling opportunities, and supporting businesses to become greener and use clean power 
  • Delivering warm, energy-efficient, affordable homes and workplaces  
  • Delivering additional flood risk management schemes to protect homes and businesses 
  • Increasing protection and access to nature for all 
  • Creating more local, clean and renewable energy  
  • Increasing low carbon and sustainable food production and consumption 

As one of first key actions from the plan, the Mayor will chair a Better Homes Yorkshire Hub to bring together housing partners, local authorities and businesses to champion new ways to deliver warm, affordable, low-carbon and climate resilient homes for all.  

The Combined Authority has worked with the West Yorkshire Housing Partnership on a bid to the Government’s Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund which if successful will result in £10.35 million being invested to retrofit more than 1,300 homes across West Yorkshire. The measures, which include insulation and heat pumps, will ensure people have warmer homes with reduced energy bills, whilst also creating new green jobs and apprenticeships.   

The Mayor has also joined other Metro Mayors from across the UK in calling for the Government to invest in the Great Homes Upgrade ahead of the Autumn budget. This is a package of measures to put the UK on a rapid and credible pathway to retrofitting 7 million homes by 2025 and almost 19 million by 2030. The measures include £11.7 billion of Government investment, a new national retrofit taskforce, tax reform and stronger building regulations. 

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