The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has formally declared a climate emergency and called for urgent collaborative action to tackle emissions.

The declaration was made at the Combined Authority’s annual meeting, held on Thursday, June 27.

It follows a commitment by the Combined Authority and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) to become the UK’s first zero carbon city region, and declarations of climate emergencies by all councils within West Yorkshire.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, said: “We set out our ambition to become the UK’s first zero carbon city region last year and we have a number of programmes in place to decarbonise our economy but it’s vital that we all work together to make our ambition a reality.

“We’ve long recognised there is a climate emergency which is why balancing economic growth with social inclusion and environmental resilience has been a priority for us for many years. We are already taking action to address this including working with climate change experts and our partners in business and academia.

“Tackling climate change will benefit everyone. Warmer, more efficient homes and greener transport means lower energy bills, cleaner air and better health.”

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the LEP, said: “Our City Region once powered the Industrial Revolution and now it’s time for us to fuel the UK’s clean growth revolution by achieving our ambition of becoming the UK’s first zero carbon city region.

“There is no denying that the scale of our challenge is huge – but the potential environmental, social and economic rewards are even bigger. Investment in clean growth could add £11 billion to our economy and create over 100,000 jobs. We must harness our region’s distinctive and diverse strengths to realise these opportunities and deliver a future our young people deserve.”

The Combined Authority and the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) are delivering a wide range of measures including support for businesses to reduce their waste, water and energy bills; measures to improve the energy efficiency of homes and combat fuel poverty; investment in local, low carbon energy schemes such as the Leeds PIPES district heat network; and the introduction of electric vehicle charging points and low emission buses in partnership with local councils and bus operators.

This week and next, over 150 people are involved in workshops looking at solutions to tackle climate change in the buildings, energy, transport and industry sectors.