To consider the report of the Chief Officer (Sustainable Energy and Air Quality) that introduces a presentation on the council’s updated climate emergency strategy and progress.
The Chief Officer for Sustainable Energy and Air Quality submitted a report to update the Inner East Community Committee on the Climate Emergency Strategy and progress.
An update was provided to the Inner East Community Committee on the council’s climate emergency strategy and recent progress to reduce emissions. This included an overview of measures being taken to retrofit homes and buildings, installation of electric vehicle infrastructure and biodiversity measures such as tree planting. A couple of points highlighted were as follows:
· £25m has been secured for de-carbonisation of the corporate estate and schools and included solar panels and LED lighting. It was noted that this had to be taken without any consultation due to limited timescales for the bidding process.
· Information about what measures had taken place locally were also shared.
· Many sites across Leeds need heating upgrades and the Council were looking to use solar panels and air source heat pumps. Members were advised that savings would be made by not using Capital Money and the team were looking to secure funding from Government through a bidding process.
· Grant funding is available for homes where owner’s salaries are under £30,000 to be fitted with free solar panels.
· An electric bike trial scheme was available until March so that cyclists could try electric bikes before deciding to buy. The team have around 22 electric bikes which can be loaned out from the city centre for use across Leeds. The loan period is one month.
· The team produce a city newsletter and an invite was given to Members to request a copy.
· Leeds DEC are providing free educational material to raise awareness of climate change to be used in schools which link into the school curriculum.
· A climate action training pilot was currently being undertaken in Seacroft. This links schools, third sector organisations to see what can be done in local areas to address climate change.
· A demonstration of the place-based carbon calculator. It was noted that the footprint in the Inner East is lower than most areas across the city.
· The White Rose Strategy is looking to double the tree count across Leeds. This is a national scheme looking to link up with private landowners who might be able to provide land on which trees can be planted. The Council is looking to plant more trees on land it owns such as parks.
Members discussed a number of matters including:
· The mechanisms in place to mitigate air pollutants, specifically in the Inner East Community Committee area and identifying areas where people are most exposed to air pollution.
· Concerns were raised that the bike scheme was not inclusive to all, particularly for people with health issues and disabilities. Further to clarification on the process of leasing electric bikes, members were informed that businesses have since purchased / leased electric vehicles themselves.
· Clarity on the plans to roll out free solar panels and LED lighting across schools in the Inner East Community Committee area. Members were asked to provide details of schools that may be interested in the scheme, albeit this will be dependent on future funding rounds.
· The take-up of homeowners receiving free solar panels and/or insultation was acknowledged, and it was noted that the Council are keen to receive more applications for inefficient buildings, specifically EPC G.
· Green Careers – a suggestion was made to share relevant information with respective Subgroups and Community Committee Champions.
· Clarity on the plans for de-carbonisation relating to railways.
· Ammonia for aviation.
· Concern regarding bus providers idling engines.
· Tackling congestion and the focus of the Connecting Leeds Strategy.
The Chair thanked the Senior Communication and Marketing Officer for his presentation.
RECOMMENDED – To note the contents of the verbal update and comments raised during discussion of this item.