Regional Climate Commission is launched

Richard Boothman

The Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission has been in development for some months but at an online meeting during the evening of Wednesday 17 March the Commission was formally launched and the 25 Commissioners introduced to an audience of around 400 people.

This regional body is intended to bring together public, private and third sector actors to support, guide and track the delivery of ambitious climate actions across the region.  The outputs that the Commission is striving for include:

  • Preparing a climate action plan for Yorkshire and Humber, to be submitted to COP26
  • Publish an annual report offering a progress review on the main issues, the challenge and the activities in the region to feed into local and combined authorities.
  • Prepare and publish position papers on key topics and policy briefs that enable the region to speak more clearly to Westminster on the policy changes needed for it to become a net-zero, climate resilient region.

At the launch event, Geraldine Scott, Westminster correspondent of The Yorkshire Post introduced a short film to highlight and publicise the work of the Commission.  You can see this on the homepage of the Commission’s website here – https://yorksandhumberclimate.org.uk/

The formation of the Commission was welcomed by Lord Deben, chair of the Committee on Climate Change, Emma Howard-Boyd, chair of the Environment Agency and Liz Barber, CEO of Yorkshire Water who has been appointed chair of the Commission.  Some of the Commissioners, including Dan Jarvis (MP for Barnsley Central, and Mayor of the Sheffield City Region), Beckie Hart (CBI director for Yorkshire and the Humber), Emma Bridge (Chief Executive of Community Energy England) and Bill Adams (regional secretary of the TUC in Yorkshire & the Humber) introduced themselves and outlined their aspirations for the Commission.

Those attending were invited to post questions to the Commission and some were addressed during a panel session which concluded the meeting.  The panel comprised 5 of the Commissioners plus the Director, Professor Andy Gouldson of Leeds University.

An example of the tough issues that the Commission will have to deal with over the coming months and years, the first question was about the Commission’s reaction to Leeds City Council’s decision to support the expansion of Leeds-Bradford airport! A few days later the Yorkshire Post reported that Professor Andy Gouldson had written to the Government stating that expansion of  the airport made it “much harder, if not impossible” to achieve net zero emissions.

 

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