Leeds Green Party backs Zero Carbon Yorkshire campaign launch

27 February 2016

Leeds Green Party climate campaigners

Leeds Green Party is giving its support to the launch of a major new campaign aiming to put Yorkshire at the forefront of a transition to a cleaner, greener economy. Zero Carbon Yorkshire, being launched at Leeds Civic Hall on 27 February, will bring together organisations, community groups and local residents to explore how Yorkshire can become the UK’s first zero carbon region.

The campaign aims to bring together contributions to drive change towards renewable energy, well-insulated homes, a better transport system, and sustainable agriculture. It follows on from December’s ‘COP21’ summit in Paris, where 195 world leaders, including the UK, agreed to aim to limit global warming to 2°C [1] – but the campaign acknowledges we can’t rely on governments alone to take action.

Kate Bisson, Leeds Green Party coordinator, says: “We’re excited to see this important campaign being launched in Yorkshire, and proud to be involved. It’s critical we work together to move towards a greener economy and a safer, healthier future. Climate change might seem like a distant issue, but all the evidence suggests there will be horrendous effects for people around the world and here in the UK if global warming continues unabated. Here in Yorkshire many people have suffered terribly from flooding recently – something that’s made more and more likely as our climate changes. In Leeds we also all suffer from breathing poor quality air due to pollution. It’s great to see such enthusiasm for making Yorkshire a zero carbon region, which would help to show what can be achieved by embracing sustainability.”

Recently, national leader of The Green Party Natalie Bennett visited the scenes of recent flooding in Otley. She used the visit to call for more to be done to address pollution and climate change, which has been shown to increase flood risk [2], and praised local community efforts to promote sustainability.

Natalie Bennett, leader of The Green Party, said: “Protecting the environment is crucial to people’s health and wellbeing. When we talk about protecting the environment, people often think about trees, wildlife and far-away places. But protecting the environment is primarily about protecting people and communities. As our climate changes, people are more at risk from destructive events like flooding, which has caused such devastation here in Leeds. And people’s health is directly affected by air pollution, an invisible killer. That’s why we need much more done by national government and local authorities to reduce pollution and transition to a green economy. It’s so encouraging to see local projects championing sustainability, and to hear of many initiatives around Leeds helping to create a greener future.”

As well as backing this campaign, Leeds Green Party is calling on Leeds City Council to do more to protect people and the environment by:

  • Addressing air pollution, so people’s health isn’t threatened by toxic fumes.
  • Protecting the city’s green spaces (and create more), which are important ‘green lungs’ and wildlife habitats, as well as places people can unwind and exercise.
  • Ensuring everyone in Leeds can get around via sustainable means, by improving walking, cycling and public transport provision.
  • Supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency, including ensuring all new housing and buildings are energy efficient and when possible supplied by renewables, and retrofitting existing buildings.
  • Reducing emissions and supporting local businesses to do the same, and ‘divesting’ council pensions from investment in fossil fuels, so the city is doing its part to prevent climate change.

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