The dramatic claim was made this morning as an event hosted by regional super-council West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) which heard claims that green infrastructure could boost the region’s economy by £11bn.
It follows a number of councils, including WYCA, declaring a climate emergency this year, amid scientists’ claims that carbon emissions need to be halved over the next five years in order to safeguard the planet’s future.
The event, which took place at the Leeds Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility in Cross Green, saw the launch of the Climate Coalition, which will see the combined authority work with environmental researchers to find a way to dramatically reduce carbon emissions in the region.
Roger Marsh, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Fund, said: “We should be ahead of what is going on in the south, and we have to make fundamental changes as a city region.
“We cannot shy away from this challenge. Now is the time to harness our
region’s distinctive and diverse strengths to realise these opportunities and
deliver a future our young people deserve.
Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, chair of WYCA and leader of Bradford Council, said: “We’re creating our Climate Coalition to bring people from different parts of the City Region together as we fight for a cleaner, greener future where our children, and their children can thrive.
“We commend our constituent authorities’ ambitious commitments to their carbon reduction targets. We will have made significant progress by 2030 and the city region will be net carbon zero by 2038 at the latest.
“Investment in clean growth could add £11 billion to our economy and create
100,000 extra skilled jobs for local people.”
Pupils from St Joseph’s School in Wetherby performed a rap poem to the room, warning of the dangers of climate change.
Those signing up to the Climate Coalition have pledged to play their part in reaching the target of making Leeds City Region net zero carbon economy by 2038 at the latest, with significant progress by 2030. They will do so by taking action within their individual organisations and by working in partnership with others.