To consider the report of the Chief Officer (Sustainable Energy and Air Quality) that introduces a presentation from the Leeds Climate Commission on the recently published Net-Zero Carbon Roadmap for Leeds, which has been developed in response to the recommendations of the Leeds Climate Change Citizens’ Jury.
The Chief Officer (Sustainable Energy and Air Quality) that submitted a report that introduced a presentation from the Leeds Climate Commission on the recently published Net-Zero Carbon Roadmap for Leeds, which has been developed in response to the recommendations of the Leeds Climate Change Citizens’ Jury.
Professor Andy Gouldson, Chair of the Leeds Climate Commission, delivered a PowerPoint presentation setting out the Net-Zero Carbon Roadmap for Leeds. The key messages were presented as follows:
· Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions from Leeds have fallen by 40% since the turn of the Millennium. With on-going decarbonisation of grid electricity, and taking into account population and economic growth within the city region, we project that Leeds’ 2000 level of annual emissions will have fallen by a total of 45% in 2030 and 49% in 2050.
· The periods of lockdown throughout the pandemic will have had an impact, particularly due to changes in working patterns with most people working from home, however, it is not expected to change the broader scale of the challenge.
· Leeds has a clear opportunity to become a leader in how it shapes consumer behaviour, by addressing the carbon reduction opportunities set out within the Roadmap and introducing low carbon measures for:
o Households and for both public and commercial buildings (including better insulation, improved heating, more efficient appliances, some small scale renewables);
o Transport (including more walking and cycling, enhanced public transport, electric and more fuel efficient vehicles);
o Industry (including better lighting, improved process efficiencies and a wide range of other energy efficiency measures).
Members discussed a number of matters, including:
· Finance and Investment. Members recognised the financial barriers to families and private landlords making sustainable investments in their homes, particularly for a large proportion of housing in Leeds built in the Victorian era. It was noted that the recently announced National Infrastructure Bank to be situated in Leeds will provide opportunity for more green investment options. Members highlighted that the financial benefits to investments need to be calculated and presented through easy to understand communications to Leeds residents to evidence the value of eco-retrofit.
· Changing travel behaviour. In response to a query, Members were advised that electric aviation models are very unlikely to be commercially available by 2030, and therefore behavioural change is necessary to change travel habits, and encouraging residents to reduce plane travel, for example, from one week-long trip abroad every year to a 2 week trip every other year. Members noted the ambitions set out within the draft Transport Strategy that promote active travel and the benefits of ‘15 minute neighbourhoods’ – meaning that neighbourhoods include all necessary amenities within 15 minutes walking distance and therefore reducing the need to travel by car.
· Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission. Members queried whether the Leeds roadmap is consistent with neighbouring local authorities, and were advised that the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission has been established in recognition of the need for joined up thinking across the region, and is to be launched in the coming weeks.
RESOLVED – That the contents of the report and appendices, along with Members comments, be noted.