Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng says global leaders “will be taking note” of the region’s efforts ahead of the long-awaited COP26 summit in Glasgow.
Meanwhile the Archbishop of York – in his first Yorkshire Day message – warns that “our insatiable desire for everything may leave us with nothing” unless the global environmental threat is taken even more seriously.
Both leaders have written exclusive articles for this weekend’s edition as The Yorkshire Post launches its first ever climate change summit to champion environmentally friendly business behaviour as the UK recovers from the Covid pandemic.
Yorkshire: A Climate Conscious County – which will precede the COP26 summit in November – will examine what more can be done to ensure that green energy is at the forefront of the transition to a net zero economy by 2050.
More than 150,000 jobs, it is estimated, could be created in and Mr Kwarteng says flagship projects in this region already demonstrate “how green and growth go hand-in-hand”.
He hailed the planned summit as “a pioneering move to bring the debate to the heart of Yorkshire and discuss how best the people of this county can play their part”.
“Proudly holding the baton on climate action, Yorkshire is providing a shining example for other UK regions and countries around the world on how to both, capitalise on, and set the pace for, the green industrial revolution,” he added.
“With COP26 just around the corner, the world will be taking note of Yorkshire’s efforts to set the pace in the global green race.”
Meanwhile Archbishop Cottrell says the county has a moral duty to do even more in the fight against climate change as ‘once a century’ extreme weather occurrences become the ‘new normal’.
An analysis of the UK’s weather in 2020, published this week, confirmed that the 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 2002.
And he says the example being set by younger people on environmental matters should be viewed as a source of strength.
“It’s tempting to see it as someone else’s problem. We would love it just to go away. But it won’t. The water levels are rising. The time to act is now,” he warns.
“This affects each one of us. We are going to have to make individual changes as well as national and global changes. We are probably going to have to learn to live with less and be satisfied with enough. Our insatiable desire for everything may leave us with nothing.”
He believes Yorkshire Day is the correct time to make a stand on behalf of future generations. “I will be praying that, in this most beautiful county, we will play our part in making COP26 count,” he adds.
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