North Yorkshire County Council’s Executive recently approved the North Yorkshire Council Climate Change Strategy Draft for public consultation, and will be inviting all ‘partners’, residents, communities and businesses (including ACE) across North Yorkshire to give their views by 7 April 2023.
The strategy outlines the activities which the new North Yorkshire Council (NYC) can take to tackle the causes and impacts of climate change through 4 areas:
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to slow down climate change.
- Preparing our services and our residents for the changing climate.
- Supporting nature, on which we depend, to thrive.
- North Yorkshire Council – To be operationally carbon neutral by 2030.
It also highlights how North Yorkshire Council will work with partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors to support the regional ambition to become a carbon negative region by 2040 – following the York and North Yorkshire Route map to Carbon Negative.
The consultation draft will be published on 13 February. The draft strategy acknowledges that a host of measures will need to be employed and will have to be introduced across the public sector as well as businesses and North Yorkshire’s communities.
Figures show that North Yorkshire produced 5,829 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (kt co2e) in 2020, with agriculture equating to a third of the total, transport responsible for 28 per cent and 19 per cent coming from homes.
Initiatives which will need to be adopted include producing more renewable energy, reducing the use of fossil fuels, improving insulation in homes, encouraging the use of low-emission vehicles and promoting more active travel such as cycling and walking.
The Council believes that the move to a single unitary authority covering the whole of North Yorkshire will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to streamline policies and provide a clearly defined approach across the county.
North Yorkshire County Council and the seven district and borough authorities will merge from 1 April to pave the way for a devolution deal, which is set to transfer decision-making powers and millions of pounds of funding from Westminster to local political leaders.
Council leader, Councillor Carl Les, who will become the leader of the new authority in April, said: “The new North Yorkshire Council will present us with a huge opportunity to provide a co-ordinated strategy across the county, working closely with our communities and partners.
“It will provide crucial foundations in helping reduce carbon emissions in North Yorkshire and for the whole country to achieve the Government’s target to become carbon neutral by 2050.”
Co-ordinator Sarah Wiltshire commented: “ACE will be providing feedback with other members of the North Yorkshire Climate Coalition through a written response and a meeting with Michael Leah (incoming NYC Assistant Director Policy, Partnerships and Communities) to be held later in February. We also encourage everyone to comment, to get in touch with their local councillors and to show their support for detailed and urgent action to be taken.”
Photo: Barry White.