Climate change commission launches in Yorkshire and the Humber to tackle crisis head on

A new partnership of councils, businesses, utilities, unions and environmental groups from across Yorkshire and Humber is being launched to tackle the climate crisis head on.

The Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission, which is set to launch formally in March and is described as the biggest regional commission of its kind in the UK, will provide an independent voice to help support and track the delivery of ambitious climate actions across the region.

Its focus will be on reducing carbon emissions as quickly as possible and ensuring people in Yorkshire are prepared to cope with the impacts of climate change, such as flooding, heatwaves and sea level rise.

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Yorkshire has been hit hard by floods in recent years. Pic: SWNS

The work of the commission will be based on the principles of inclusivity and a ‘just transition’ to help to ensure that no-one and no-where is left behind in the response to climate change. It will also ensure that climate actions are sustainable and bring benefits to nature and local wildlife.

The commission’s creation has the support of the Yorkshire and Humber Leaders Board, the 22 councils across Yorkshire and the Humber and organisations like the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water, Northern Powergrid, Northern Gas Networks, the Trades Union Congress, Yorkshire Universities and the University of Leeds.

Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, and Carl Les, Leader of North Yorkshire County Council, are co-chairs of the Yorkshire and Humber Leaders Board.

They said: “It gives us great pleasure to announce the creation of the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission, an independent body that will help raise our region’s collective ambition in tackling climate change.

“The Commission will encourage even greater investment in low carbon, climate resilient developments that create benefits for everyone, including a just transition for

workers.

"It will also give Yorkshire and the Humber a louder, clearer and unified voice with which to call for the changes and support that we need to see at the national level so that we can achieve net-zero as swiftly as possible.”

Gordon Rogers, Head of Sustainability at Yorkshire Water, said: “Many parts of our region have experienced first-hand the impact that extreme weather can have in

recent years.

"These events will only become more common unless we take urgent action to protect our communities and do our bit to prevent the emergency that is

climate change.

"By bringing together experts from across the public, private and third sectors, this Commission will help to provide advice, support and opportunities for becoming a net-zero and climate resilient region.”

The Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission is now on a recruitment drive, inviting applications for a number of Commissioners from across a range of sectors. All

positions are voluntary and will last three years.

Applications are sought from leaders in key sectors such as housing and transport and key groups including community and environment groups who would like to become Commissioners, ahead of its formal launch on March 17.

Commissioners are not paid and would be asked to commit up to 10 days a year to the role to help to shape and guide climate actions across the region.

To find out more about applying to join the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission visit their website www.yorksandhumberclimate.org.uk.