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Friday, December 1, 2023

Kirklees Cabinet approves Climate Action Plan

Kirklees Cabinet on 17 November, approved the council’s Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP). Due to the significance of the plan this will also be presented to all Kirklees Councillors at full council in December, closely followed by an official launch of the action plan.

Setting out the council’s longer-term ambitions for Kirklees to reach the aim of becoming Net Zero and Climate Ready by 2038, the plan also outlines next steps in the process that would result in firm commitments from the council.

Now approved, officers will progress the next steps of the action plan, developing, identifying and implementing placed-based prioritisation of actions.

A climate emergency was originally declared by the council in 2019. Since then, actions to implement measures to help reduce both the councils own operational emissions and the emissions from Kirklees as a whole, have been completed as part of Phase 1.

This action plan marks Phase 2 of the council’s response to the climate emergency. Outlining an integrated and collaborative approach to address climate change including both carbon reduction and climate adaptation, it builds on the work completed in Phase 1.

Cllr Will Simpson

Councillor Will Simpson, Cabinet Member for Culture and Greener Kirklees, said: “Climate Change is a global issue, which we have and will continue to experience the impact of on a local level across Kirklees, through flooding and wildfires and most recently the unprecedented heatwaves experienced this summer.

“Local, collaborative climate action by all is essential to protect our environment and livelihoods for future generations. This action plan doesn’t just outline actions for Kirklees Council, but measures that can be adopted by residents, businesses, agencies, organisations, and partners alike, as we all must be on this journey to a Net Zero and Climate Ready future, together.”

Residents have played a key role in the development of the action plan to date taking part in workshops, and the climate survey conducted earlier this year.

The plan will provide residents with reassurances of the council’s intended actions and is anticipated that implementation of the plan will generate joint benefits. This would include health and wellbeing, environment, economic prosperity and essential public services. Examples of these could include improved access to high quality green spaces for people living in towns/villages and a more sustainable and localised food chain.

Residents and other stakeholders will continue to be a key part of the development and journey of the Climate Change Action Plan. This will ensure it positively benefits and impacts Kirklees and everyone in its communities and is representative of the diversity and unique characteristics of the area.

Cllr Will Simpson, added: “Although the focus of this plan is to deliver actions that can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and increase our resilience to the impacts of climate change, it also outlines the many co-benefits. This is particularly pertinent due to the current cost of living crisis, the impacts of which could be reduced in a low to zero carbon Kirklees.

Reducing our reliance on natural gas, increasing our use of renewable energies, and having more energy-efficient homes will bring our energy bills down.

“A low-carbon and resilient future is not just for the few, but the right of everyone in Kirklees. It is our priority to ensure that the actions are realistic, practical and accessible, so that everyone, regardless of background can benefit from their outcomes.”

The CCAP is the first step in the council’s action planning journey moving from Phase 1 delivery and will remain a core strategic document that will drive Phase 2 responses to the climate emergency. This shouldn’t detract from the large-scale investment that has already been undertaken and actions implemented by the council in response to climate change. This includes ongoing activity linked to mitigation of carbon including greening our vehicle fleet, installing supporting EV infrastructure and promoting active travel, as well as emergency planning to ensure we are prepared for unprecedented weather events.

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