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11:19 AM 19th February 2020

Combined Authority And LEP Working Towards A Net Zero Leeds City Region By 2038

Steps being taken by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) to tackle the climate emergency will be set out before councillors and business leaders next week.

The Green Economy Panel, a partnership between local government and businesses, will give an update to the LEP Board at its monthly meeting on Tuesday, February 25.

The Combined Authority, the LEP and their partners are working towards creating a net zero carbon Leeds City Region by 2038 at the latest.

In order to meet that ambitious target and meet the City Region’s obligations under the Paris Agreement, emissions will have to be reduced by 14.5 per cent every year.

The Combined Authority is currently working with partners in North Yorkshire to carry out a detailed study to establish how different parts of the economy can rapidly decarbonise.

The results of the study, known as the North & West Yorkshire Emissions Reduction Pathways, will plot out a roadmap towards net zero emissions for both regions and produce recommendations for policymakers and councillors to consider.

Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of the LEP and NP11, said: “The Leeds City Region has an ambitious target to be a net zero carbon City Region by 2038 at the latest with significant progress by 2030.

“Meeting this challenge requires urgent collective action and an acceptance that we will all have to make changes to way we live, work and travel. But it will also create amazing opportunities for us to build the kind of world our children and grandchildren can thrive in.

“In tackling the climate emergency, we can also embrace new technologies such as hydrogen power, improve the energy efficiency of our homes and other buildings, and upskill our people so they can excel in the careers of the future.”

The results of the North & West Yorkshire Emissions Reduction Pathways are expected to be published in Summer following a public consultation. The planned work and emerging results will be tested with partners between January – June 2020, through a range of stakeholder engagement events.

They will focus on five sectors of the economy – transport, building, industry, land-use and agriculture.

Policy recommendations from the study will be put before the LEP board in Autumn 2020.

Projects

The Combined Authority and the LEP fund a number of projects and programmes which are helping to reduce carbon emissions and improve the environment across the City Region.

Housing - Since 2015, 5,470 energy efficiency measures have been installed in 5,200 homes across the Leeds City Region which will reduce CO2 emissions by 192,000 tonnes and result in collective fuel bill savings of £47.5 million over the lifetime of the measures.

Transport - Work is continuing to install 88 ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) charging points for taxis with a goal of making 5.1 per cent of our region’s taxis ultra-low emission vehicles by the end of this year. This will help improve air quality and contribute towards the Leeds City Region becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038.

Walking and Cycling - Since 2014, 67km of new and improved cycling and walking routes have been delivered through the Combined Authority’s CityConnect programme, with more than 2.3 million trips made on the infrastructure to date.

Businesses - In 2019, 59 Resource Efficiency Fund grants were provided to help save businesses nearly two million kWh of energy – enough to charge every Nissan Leaf electric car sold in the UK at least twice. Building on its success, the LEP’s new REBiz programme provides advice and financial support for small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) looking to become more resource efficient in the way they do business.

Low carbon projects - The LEP’s Energy Accelerator is the first project of its kind in the UK and is designed to help low carbon and energy efficient projects become a reality where they may otherwise not have been completed due to a lack of capacity, expertise and funding. To date, it is providing technical support to more than 15 projects in the Leeds City Region and aims to lever in over £120m of capital investment and save over 25,000 tonnes of carbon annually. It will also help to create new jobs, allow access to low cost energy as well as attracting future inward investment.