Climate and nature commitments sought from Yorkshire’s business community

Mon, 11/14/2022 - 17:20


Businesses and organisations from across Yorkshire and Humber are being invited to sign a pledge to show their commitment to tackling the climate and ecological emergency and helping our region to thrive and become climate ready. 

Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission, an independent body set up to support and guide the region’s organisations, has launched a Climate Action Pledge today at the Yorkshire Post Climate Change Summit at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. 

It is the first regional pledge of its kind in the UK to require businesses and organisations to make a commitment across four areas of action: becoming climate resilient; reducing carbon emissions; enhancing nature and biodiversity; and promoting a just transition. 

The pledge, which supports and encourages ambition for all shapes and sizes of organisations across the private, public and third sector, is suitable for those that are already taking steps to be greener as well as those at the start of a learning journey. 

Join the movement

Cllr Carl Les, Leader of North Yorkshire County Council, and Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton CBE, Leader of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, said: “As Co-Chairs of the Yorkshire Leaders Board and active partners of the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission, we fully support this campaign and would encourage all businesses and organisations across the region to sign up to the Climate Action Pledge. Whether you’re already forging your own path or are just beginning to make the transition, please consider joining the movement towards a greener, more prosperous Yorkshire & Humber.” 

Liz Barber, Chair of Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission, said: “With COP27 in Egypt putting a global focus on climate action, it’s the perfect time for us to seize the initiative as a region and show how businesses and organisations can demonstrate strong leadership at all levels here in Yorkshire and Humber. 

“We are launching a ‘sprint’ of climate action today, and we want to see a year of progress that puts us on the road to net zero, improves our fantastic natural assets, helps us build our resilience to climate impacts, and does this in a way that leaves no-one or nowhere behind.” 

First organisations sign the pledge

Seven organisations have already signed up ahead of the formal launch: Hull City Council, Greenhead College in Huddersfield, Environment Agency (Yorkshire Area), Aura Innovation Centre in Hull, Sheffield Teaching Hospital, West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership, and West Yorkshire Housing Partnership. 

Leader of Hull City Council Councillor Mike Ross said: “The City Council welcomes the opportunity to sign the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission Climate Pledge. It builds upon the strong commitments the Council has already made in declaring a climate and ecological emergency. The pledge reflects the key principles in our climate strategy and our commitment as a council to ensure that residents benefit from the net zero transition and that we are prepared for a changed climate.  

“As Leader of the Council I would encourage businesses, public sector organisations and the voluntary and community sector across Hull to consider signing the Climate Pledge and join us in working to address climate change in Hull and across Yorkshire.”  

Mike Dugher, Yorkshire Area Director of the Environment Agency said: “Our Yorkshire & Humber Climate Action Pledge actively demonstrates our commitment to climate action leadership. The impacts of the climate are already being felt in our region. Extreme weather like flooding and heatwaves will increase in frequency and intensity in the years to come, so it’s vital to work in partnership, encouraging others to act now on the climate emergency and invest in adaptation.  

“I am looking forward to collaborating and learning across the network of pledge signatories and my organisation being part of the Year of Action during 2023.” 

For Greenhead College, Sustainability Lead Stuart Strathdee said: “Greenhead College believes schools and colleges are key to building young people’s awareness of and resilience to the impacts of the climate and ecological emergency.  

“We signed the Climate Action Pledge because we're committed to equipping all our students with the knowledge and skills they will need to thrive and to contribute fully to the region’s response to climate change. We are excited to be working with the Climate Commission and forward-looking organisations across the region, to play our part in creating a happier, healthier, and more sustainable future.” 

Signatories to the pledge will be signposted to support tools and services to help them achieve their commitments. Opportunities for business engagement and networking to ensure best practice from around the region and encourage peer support are being developed, and the Commission is also seeking to develop an online Climate Leadership Training Programme to support pledge organisations.  

Businesses and organisations of all kinds in Yorkshire and Humber are encouraged to sign the pledge and begin or step up their climate journey.

Find out more and sign the Yorkshire & Humber Climate Action Pledge.