Hull City Council is joining forces with other councils, businesses, utilities, unions and environmental groups from across Yorkshire and Humber to tackle the climate crisis head on through a major new partnership.
The Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission, which will be launched in March, will be the biggest regional commission of its kind in the UK and will provide an independent voice to help support and track the delivery of ambitious climate actions across the region.
The Commission’s 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.
The work of the Commission will be based on the principles of inclusivity ensure a “just transition” and delivering inclusive approaches to prevent anyone or any region from being left behind as we respond to climate change. It will also ensure 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 and the 22 councils across Yorkshire and the Humber. Other key partners include the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water, Northern Powergrid, Northern Gas Networks, the Trades Union Congress, Yorkshire Universities and the University of Leeds.
Hull City Council Climate Change Manager, Martin Budd, said: “The establishment of a Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission is an important step in maximising the understanding and actions across common climate change challenges we will all face within Yorkshire and the Humber and increasing our ability to deliver prosperity for our communities in a climate changed world.”
Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, and Cllr Carl Les, Leader of North Yorkshire County Council, are co-chairs of the Yorkshire and Humber Leaders Board. They said: “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, with applications being 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 17 March. 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. All positions are voluntary and will last three years.
To find out more about applying to join the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission visit their website www.yorksandhumberclimate.org.uk. You can also follow the Commission on Twitter @YHClimateCom. The deadline for applications is Monday 15 February.
The Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission has been formed as part of the Place-based Climate Action Network (PCAN), an ESRC-funded research network that builds upon the model of the Leeds Climate Commission, which launched in 2017. Since 2019, PCAN has supported the development of climate commissions around the UK, including in Edinburgh, Belfast, Surrey, Essex, Croydon, Lincoln, Doncaster, York and Kirklees.
Climate commissions are partnerships bringing together people from the public, private and third sectors to work collaboratively with local authorities to help drive climate action.
The Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission are hosting an online launch event from 6.30 – 8.30pm on Wednesday 17th March. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/launch-of-the-yorkshire-and-humber-climate-commission-tickets-138271964167