Vital climate action supported by the University of Leeds
Leeds Climate Commission and the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission (YHCC), which are supported by Leeds City Council and the Yorkshire Leaders Board, will receive £2.35m from the University.
The excellent galvanising work of regional climate commissions is now guaranteed to drive climate change for a further five years.
Leeds Climate Commission and the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission (YHCC), which are also supported by Leeds City Council and the Yorkshire Leaders Board, will receive a further £2.35m from the University.
The partnerships are integral to the University meeting its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2030, and the region’s commitment to do the same by 2038.
The University will continue to seed fund and host the team that supports both commissions.
The approach of bringing together universities, industry and other organisations to deliver collective action to overcome climate challenges has been developed at a regional scale. Leeds Climate Commission was the first of its kind, and YHCC is the largest.
The regional approach enjoys full support from mayoral and local authorities, recognising that the transition to net zero will reduce the region’s £9bn annual energy bill by some £2bn a year.
Developing our green economy will also protect and create jobs; tackle fuel poverty, reduce existing inequalities in the region.
The commissions will also strengthen our resilience by minimising the impacts of climate change, the estimated costs of which – if unchecked – will increase in the region from £1.5bn a year to £4.5bn a year by 2050.
Professor Nick Plant, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation, said: “I really look forward to seeing the progress the commissions make over the coming years to guide ambitious climate actions across the region. I am excited by the opportunities they will provide and the outcomes they will help realise.”
Professor Hai-Sui Yu, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, is the University’s executive sponsor for the delivery of its Climate Plan. He said: “The work of YHCC, since its launch in March 2021, has been impressive: galvanising, directing and enabling climate action across the region. I am extremely proud of the leadership and support roles that colleagues at the University of Leeds are playing with regional partners to achieve our net zero ambitions, and to create exciting new education and research opportunities across our communities.” directing and enabling climate action across the region.
“I am extremely proud of the leadership and support roles that colleagues at the University of Leeds are playing with regional partners to achieve our net zero ambitions, and to create exciting new education and research opportunities across our communities.”
“Leeds Climate Commission has facilitated some breakthrough projects to work towards net zero targets, including a low carbon district heating network in Leeds, which is expected to save more than 3,800 tonnes of carbon from housing and 550 tonnes of CO2 from municipal buildings per year.
“Our continued financial support is integral to the University’s bold and sector leading Climate Plan. We hope other universities, businesses and organisations follow our lead.”
YHCC is supporting local authorities to incorporate climate risk and impacts into their core business management processes, and to start the journey to establishing a climate adaptive culture across the region,
It has also launched a Climate Action Pledge which stands out against others because it provides a framework for action on all four pillars of climate action: becoming adaptive, emissions reduction, managing the transition in a fair and just way, and investing in and restoring nature.
Professor Andy Gouldson from the University’s School of Earth and Environment and Rosa Foster, on secondment from the Environment Agency, co-direct YHCC. Professor Gouldson also chairs Leeds Climate Commission.
They said: “The focus of these commissions is on the local and regional response to climate change. We would like to recognise and thank our commissioners and colleagues from across all sectors and backgrounds that are actively engaged with our work. The groundswell of momentum we are seeing is magnificent and gives us hope that we can and will rise to climate change challenges, in a way that reduces health and wealth inequalities and restores nature.”
The University is the headline sponsor for Yorkshire Sustainability Week, which begins today and is designed to strengthen, inspire and expand the sustainable business community across the region and address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.Posted in: University news