We are taking the Climate Emergency Declaration seriously
We are taking positive steps towards reducing our carbon footprint after declaring a Climate Emergency earlier this year.
What have we done?
Following the declaration, we formed a Climate Emergency Working Party which meets monthly.
Over recent months the cross-party working group has been driving positive changes the authority and people of Kirklees can make so the borough can become a greener place.
Since the declaration of a climate emergency we took immediate action to put the following measures in place:
• Disclosing Kirklees’ district climate emissions in an open and transparent way.
• A business case for a Huddersfield Heat Network is being made.
• In 2019-20, the council will invest in 27 electric vans, 20 full electric cars and 50 hybrid cars to replace diesel vehicles.
• The council will encourage more woodland and green infrastructure via the White Rose Forest Partnership.
• An engagement campaign will begin soon to encourage council staff to make a positive difference to the environment.
• We will work with partners to establish a Kirklees Climate Commission.
• Developing a Kirklees Youth Summit with a climate emergency focus.
• Supporting the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s pledge for the Leeds City Region to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2038.
Kirklees Council has been committed to the greener agenda for a number of years. Some of this ongoing work includes:
• 60 per cent of street lighting in Kirklees (6,380 lights) has been converted to environmentally-friendly LEDs. This has reduced electricity use by 3,025,378kwh – the equivalent of running 18,116 televisions for four hours every day for a year.
• Kirklees Council refers local businesses to the Leeds City Region Resource Efficiency Fund. Over 170 Kirklees businesses have been engaged with, 76 have had free assessments and almost £214,000 of grants have been awarded. 609 tonnes of carbon dioxide savings have been made.
• In the last six years, over 1,000 council properties have had wall insulation and almost 2,000 have received loft insulation. This has saved 1,543 and 241 tonnes of carbon respectively. Over 600 council houses have been fitted with solar panels in the same period.
• Kirklees is a partner in the Leeds City Region’s Better Homes Yorkshire energy efficiency scheme. Since 2015 over 130 private houses in Kirklees have benefitted from free or low cost energy efficiency measures.
• The council has reviewed its planning policy so, where appropriate, permission is granted on the condition that charging points for electric vehicles are provided in new residential and commercial developments.
• Kirklees Council has a target to reduce carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2020-21. The council is now developing targets beyond 2020-21 to align with the new proposed national target of ‘net zero’ by 2050. A report on this will be presented to Full Council later this year.
Cllr Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member for Greener Kirklees, said:
“The devastating impact human beings are having on the planet must change immediately. By declaring a climate emergency, we have recognised the severity and urgency of this global issue.
It’s up to us as the local authority to take a lead on this and to do everything in our power to take the urgent and vital measures needed.
That’s why we’ve established a working group which looks at what we can do better and how we can encourage others to do the same, not just in the Council, but across Kirklees. We’ve already made some fantastic steps towards a greener Kirklees but this is just the start and there’s plenty to come.
It’s also important that as a region we come together to tackle this issue because we all have a part to play. It is not too late to tackle the causes and worst effects of climate change. Changing the way we work, travel, eat, use energy and deal with waste can make all of our lives better.”