Kirklees is one of new class of 119 global cities named climate action leaders on CDPs 2023 A list

CDP released its results today, with Kirklees being awarded an A – the highest possible score, demonstrating the great strides taken towards the our aim of becoming ‘Net Zero and Climate-Ready by 2038’.

As part of our climate emergency commitment, we voluntarily report to the internationally recognised CDP global disclosure system on an annual basis. This reporting platform is designed for cities and districts such as Kirklees to manage the environmental impact of the district they govern. We have risen from a score of C to an A within three years. Scoring an A puts Kirklees within the top 119 ‘cities’ across the globe.

What is the CDP?

Designed to encourage and support cities to ramp up their climate action and ambition, CDP’s ‘Cities’ A List is based on environmental data disclosed by cities and districts to CDP-ICLEI Track, the world’s leading climate reporting platform. A clear momentum in climate disclosure and action is building – over 900 cities and districts received a rating for their climate action from CDP in 2023. In 2023, just 13% scored by CDP received an A.

How difficult is it to score an A?

To score an A, among other actions, a city or district must disclose publicly through the CDP-ICLEI Track, have a city-wide emissions inventory, and have published a climate action plan. It must also complete a climate risk and vulnerability assessment and have a climate adaptation goal to demonstrate how it will tackle climate hazards.

A List cities are demonstrating their climate leadership through concerted and effective action; just as national governments will be asked to do at COP28. They are taking four times as many mitigation and adaptation measures as non-A List cities.

Kirklees, and the other 118 cities and districts on this year’s A List, are also celebrated for showing that urgent and impactful climate action – from ambitious emissions reduction targets to building resilience against climate change – is achievable at a global level and in regions with different climate realities and priorities. However, this action needs to go further and faster.

What have the council done towards the Climate Emergency?

In 2019 the we declared a climate emergency and, since then, significant steps have been made towards the goal of becoming Net Zero and Climate Ready by 2038. These steps include launching the Kirklees Climate Commission in June 2021, publishing the integrated Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) in December 2022, and most recently, a partner and professionals’ workshop which was delivered in May 2023. The workshop built on the CCAP to further prioritise the outlined actions, which are now in the process of being taken into the business case development stage before funding and implementation begin.

We were recently awarded the Royal Meteorological Society’s 2022 ‘Award for Impact’ on climate change due to its work in educating, informing, and motivating organisations in response to meteorological challenges. Most recently, in February of this year, we became the first local authority in West Yorkshire to sign up to the Yorkshire & Humber Climate Action Pledge and were awarded ‘achiever’ status, which recognises that an organisation has a plan in place for at least one of four areas of focus. Earlier this year we were awarded £100k from the Net Zero Region Accelerator programme to maximize the potential for renewable energy generation in Kirklees.

What is next?

Looking to the future, the council has secured funding of £8.2 million for the Huddersfield District Energy Network, which is currently progressing through the commercialisation stage and is due for completion by the end of 2026. The new ‘Environment Strategy, Everyday Life’ for Kirklees, and its associated partnership pledge, which has been co-designed with people who live, work, and study in Kirklees, will be taken to Full Council for approval in February 2024. Officers will continue to identify funding sources to help deliver and implement necessary climate action.

Councillor Cathy Scott, Leader of Kirklees Council, said:

“Delivering a greener Kirklees and leading on the climate emergency is one of my four key priorities, inclusion in CDP’s Cities A List certainly demonstrates that we are leading globally.

“It is so important to build a green future and local authorities like Kirklees are pivotal to leading the way when it comes to tackling climate change.

Councillor Yusra Hussain, Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees, said:

“We are incredibly pleased to be top of the class with our A score in the CDP results this year, it is a true reflection of our hard work towards the climate emergency, despite the pressures of a challenging global economic situation.

“It is no secret that we are all currently experiencing a period of national uncertainty, where the landscape for green policies, environmental ambition and associated funding is shifting. This shift-change and gap in necessary funding is nothing new, and yet despite this, we have continued to make strides in addressing key environmental issues, such as the climate emergency – where our Net Zero and Climate Ready by 2038 target is 12 years in advance of the national target of 2050.

“We will continue to make those strides, addressing the challenges this national landscape brings head-on, utilising the collective power of the people who live, work, and study in Kirklees, through innovative technical and financial solutions, to achieve our ambition.”

To learn more about the our climate action journey, you can visit the Climate Emergency page: