Kirklees Council Leader Shabir Pandor has called on the whole of the borough to get behind the authority’s new plan to tackle climate change.

Cabinet members back the Kirklees Climate Emergency action plan

Cabinet members backed the Kirklees Climate Emergency action plan on 12 November and it was presented to Full Council the following day (13 November). The aim is to make the borough completely carbon neutral by 2038.

What does the plan include?

The plan includes proposals to significantly boost the number of electric vehicles in the council’s fleet and for more public charging points to be installed across the borough. Parking will also be free for hybrid and electric vehicles across Kirklees in a bid to encourage more people to drive them.

Some other key actions to help Kirklees reach this target include; boosting local woodland through the White Rose Forest Partnership, establishing a Kirklees Climate Commission and Kirklees Green Charter and to hold a Kirklees Youth Summit on climate change.

This all forms Phase 1 of the council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan, Phase 2 will set out how Kirklees will become carbon neutral by 2038 and will be released next year.

Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said:

“I’m really proud to say that we now have a plan to tackle climate change in Kirklees and to make the borough carbon neutral by 2038. This will be a top priority for us when we set our Budget for the next financial year.

As a council we take climate change, and our responsibility for tackling it, incredibly seriously. This is much bigger than politics, it’s the most important issue of our time and the right way forward for Kirklees is for us all to work together.

That’s why we set up a cross party working group to produce this ambitious plan and I’d like to thank them for all of their hard work and input in putting this ambitious plan together.

Climate change is finally where it belongs, at the top of the agenda. We owe thanks to a young person from Sweden, Greta Thunberg, for making this happen. She has inspired the world and has given young people a voice. As local leaders, we will continue to listen to the voices of our residents as we move forward.

Climate change is no longer just an agenda for activists and that is something we need to celebrate. A key part of our plans will be to ensure they benefit and work for everyone. We are investing in significantly more green council vehicles and public charging points for electric vehicles. However, we don’t want to leave people in, what I would call, green poverty.

Electric cars will help us lower emissions but they are not the answer for everyone. We have to also put some focus on more affordable forms of green travel so everyone can come with us on this exciting journey and our most vulnerable are not left behind.

Residents want to get involved and we will provide the leadership needed locally on this issue, whilst making sure that our hard working families and vulnerable individuals are not adversely affected and we need to poverty proof everything we do.

The work does not stop here, in fact it has just begun. What we now have is a foundation to build on but to make real change the whole of society must act and we all must become activists and make changes to our everyday lives to make an positive impact. So I urge everyone to get behind this plan so we can truly make a difference to the world.”

Can I read the Climate Emergency Action Plan?

To read the Climate Emergency Action Plan visit Kirklees website.