Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission
Advancing the region’s climate leadership
Accelerating climate resilient, net-zero development through an inclusive and just transition
- The Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission brings together public, private and third sector actors to support, guide and track the delivery of ambitious climate actions across the region.
- The Commission promotes both climate resilience and the transition to net-zero emissions in a positive, constructive and evidence-based way.
- The Commission seeks to promote climate action in a fair, inclusive and just way so that no-one and nowhere is left out or left behind.
- The Commission promotes sustainability by supporting climate actions that also protect nature and biodiversity.
- By operating at the regional scale, the Commission supports local actions whilst also promoting Yorkshire and the Humber in national and international fora and debates.
- The establishment of the Commission was supported by the Yorkshire and Humber Leaders Board and by the leaders of councils across the region.
- It was also developed with the support of the Environment Agency, Yorkshire Water, Northern Powergrid, Northern Gas Networks, the TUC, Yorkshire Universities, Yorkshire Building Society, and the University of Leeds.
- The Commission is an independent entity that informs and works with initiatives across the region (including other local climate commissions) to support climate action.
- The Secretariat team are employed through the University of Leeds and based on its main campus.
- The Commission is not there to duplicate existing efforts, to act as a platform for campaigning or marketing or to deliver climate actions itself.
- The Commission includes a main Commission, panels on a range of topics and a secretariat.
- The main Commission is made up of a Chair, four Vice-chairs (each representing North, South and West Yorkshire and the Humber), two Co-Directors and 38 other Commissioners.
- The Commissioners include representatives from different areas, groups and sectors, with a balance between the public, private and third sectors.
- The Commission is supported by a small secretariat including a net-zero analyst, a climate resilience analyst, a communications lead, an administrator and four engagement and impact officers (all part-time).
- The Commission supports six standing panels in cross-cutting areas of on-going importance: Net Zero; Climate Adaptation and Resilience; Communities and Engagement; Future Economy; Land, Water, Nature and Food; and Research and Evidence.
- Other panels – including a youth panel – may be convened to feed into an annual regional climate summit (subject to final confirmation).
- The main Commission meets quarterly (virtually where necessary, face-to-face when possible, on a rotating basis in the Humber, South, West and North Yorkshire).
- Commission meetings normally take place on Wednesdays from 3.00-5.30pm, and can be followed by an evening public engagement event.
- A regional climate summit was held (in collaboration with the Yorkshire Post) in November 2021 and November 2022.
Activities and Outputs
- As its main initial task, the Commission prepared a climate action plan for Yorkshire and Humber, which was presented at the Yorkshire Post Climate Change Summit on 10 November 2021.
- The Commission publishes annual reports offering a progress review and stock-take on the main issues and challenge/activities in the region to feed into local and combined authorities and the Yorkshire and Humber Leaders Board.
- The Commission publishes position papers on key topics and policy briefs that enable the region to speak more clearly to Westminster on the policy changes it needs to allow it to become a net-zero, climate resilient region*.
- The Commission's website includes a suite of success stories showcasing the range of activities underway in the region; these will be added to regularly.
- The first (virtual) meeting of the Commission and a public launch event took place on 17 March 2021.
- The Commission was established for three years (i.e., until 2024) in the first instance, with a review of its contribution and value-added in year three to establish whether it should continue.
Resources and Funding
- Start-up funding (£110k) and in-kind support for the Commission were provided by the University of Leeds.
- These resources were used to support the planning and development phase, to enable engagement, network building and recruitment, to conduct baseline research for the regional climate action plan and to develop a suite of case studies in climate action from across the region.
- The Commission also received support for the development of a website from the Place-based Climate Action Network (PCAN).
- Financial support for each of the first three years of the Commission’s activities has been provided by the Yorkshire and Humber Leaders Board (£40k per annum), the Environment Agency (£15k per annum), Yorkshire Water (£15k per annum), Northern Powergrid (£15k per annum), Northern Gas Networks (£10k per annum) and Yorkshire Building Society (£15k per annum).
- An additional £503k of funding has been provided by the University of Leeds as part of its Climate Plan, to Support a Net Zero City. This was provided for the period August 2022 to March 2024).
- These resources are being used to employ (part-time) through the Univeristy of Leeds, two Co-Directors, a Policy Fellow, three communications officers, two administrators, and, since Autumn 2022, five engagement and impact officers.
- In-kind contributions have also been made by the TUC, supporting the Future Economy panel, and by Yorkshire Universities, supporting the Research and Evidence panel.
- Further philanthropic funding may be sought to support the Commission’s activities, and further sponsorship may be sought for specific activities and events, such as further climate summits.
- Any funding is only accepted on the basis that the Commission is an independent entity. All funding support will be fully acknowledged and an explanation of what any funds were spent on will be provided. Annual accounts will be publicly available.
- The Commission participates in the PCAN Network Plus to enable it to collaborate and learn from the wider network of local and regional climate commissions that are established or are emerging around the UK. PCAN (the Place-based Climate Action Network) is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
Terms of reference
Read the full 'Terms of reference' for the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission.
*Position papers and policy briefs will be published with a note saying that although the position papers represent a consensus view of the Commission as a whole they may not represent the views of all individual members.
Image (Leeds): Gary Butterfield, Unsplash