Commission wins prize for impactful climate collaborations

Fri, 06/21/2024 - 10:09


Yorkshire & Humber Climate Commission has won an award for its impactful climate collaborations.

The prize, given by the Priestley Centre for Climate Futures at its formal launch event on 20 June, was established to recognise collaborations between University of Leeds researchers and partners outside of the University.   

 Established in 2021, the Commission is an independent advisory body that encourages ambitious climate action across the region. It brings together a wide range of public, private and third sector actors representing sectors including energy, education, transport, housing, finance, culture, health, nature and water, alongside voices speaking on behalf of faiths, SMEs and businesses, environmental campaigning and unions. 

The University of Leeds hosts and part funds the Commission’s staff team as part of its Climate Plan.   

Skills and connections

With the support of all councils across the region, the Commission has delivered activities to help equip organisations of all types with the knowledge, skills and connections they need to reduce their carbon emissions and cope with the growing impacts of climate change while placing equal emphasis on protecting and restoring nature and ensuring the transition to net zero is fair for all. 

 Examples of collaborations include: 

  • Over 85 organisations have taken the Yorkshire & Humber Climate Action Pledge 

  • All 15 local authorities have shared learnings through YHCC’s climate adaptation programme and are continuing to collaborate to accelerate adaptive action 

  • 77 organisations have contributed to 22 expert-led ‘Delivering Impact’ sessions, identifying actions that have informed 11 flagship projects and a new Climate Action Plan for the region (to be published in September). 

Collective effort

The prize was accepted by Rosa Foster, Director of Yorkshire & Humber Climate Commission, and Andy Gouldson, former director of YHCC (now a Commissioner):  

Rosa Foster said: “I am delighted the work of the Commission has been presented this award. Impactful collaborations are at the heart of how we work. Climate action must be a collective effort - indeed we couldn’t function any other way, given the size and scale of our region. This award is important recognition of all the work that our members are doing across the region to mobilise, inform, and deliver effective climate action. 

“Yorkshire and the Humber has 5.5 million people; our population is larger than countries like Ireland or Norway, and the same size as Scotland or Finland. That gives us a massive opportunity to develop new approaches and innovation, as well as collaborating to develop investable, scaled propositions that benefit our people and wildlife. 

“Despite incredibly challenging times, all our local and mayoral authorities are committed to rapidly reducing their carbon emissions and are working across their areas to enable, encourage and guide others to do the same. Organisations and companies across our region are challenging themselves and others to do better and go faster. I am seeing a huge appetite to collaborate and share expertise across all sectors, including our 12 universities and further education institutes. 

“The opportunities of realising the transformational change to decarbonise the way we live are immense; the risks from not taking them could be catastrophic. Our climate is changing rapidly, and we must act decisively, with pace and with ambition. We can lead the way in Yorkshire and the Humber.” 

Yorkshire & Humber Climate Commission will be publishing a new report, Our Carbon Story, based on a Carbon Reduction Assessment for Yorkshire and the Humber and research on consumption emissions by University of Leeds academics, in early July. 

Read more about all the award winners.

Photo (from left): Prof Hai-Sui Yu, Interim Vice Chancellor of the University of Leeds; Dr Shona Smith, Head of the Priestley Centre for Climate Futures; Rosa Foster, Director of YHCC; Prof Andy Gouldson, former director of YHCC; Prof Piers Forster, Director of the Priestley Centre