"Calderdale is leading the way in the fight against climate change" - Borough's climate action heads for international spotlight

Calderdale Council is gearing up to make the borough’s voice heard at one of the world’s most significant climate events.

By Tom Scargill
Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 10:02 am
Updated Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 10:04 am
Coun Patient in an electric vehicle
Coun Patient in an electric vehicle

Coun Scott Patient, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, and members of the Council’s Environmental Projects team, are attending COP26 – the 26th annual UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

They will speak up for Calderdale’s partnership work to tackle the climate emergency declared in the borough in 2019, and highlight what’s needed to continue the fight.

From Sunday 31 October to Friday 12 November 2021, COP26 will bring world leaders together to make important decisions on how nations tackle climate change. The UK’s biggest ever summit has been described as a major opportunity for the world to get climate change under control.

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An electric car charge point

Each country will report on how they plan to reduce their carbon emissions, and will agree on a new, ambitious emissions path for the future.

Calderdale Council, in partnership with other organisations, has recently published the Calderdale Emission Reduction Pathways report, which sets out the local approach to becoming a zero-carbon place.

The report is being used to develop a Climate Action Plan, with work focused on buildings, technology, transport, land use, biodiversity, the carbon impact of food, and actions that communities can take.

This will build on the key achievements that Calderdale has made since the climate emergency declaration. The borough has achieved great carbon emission reductions, but more resources and powers are needed from central Government to stay on track to achieve net zero emissions by 2038 (with significant progress by 2030). The local targets are above and beyond the national ones, and in line with what was recently recommended by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Coun Scott Patient, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, said: “Calderdale is leading the way in the fight against climate change, and we will put this in the spotlight at a national and international level at COP26. But the consequences of climate change remain real and disastrous across the borough, such as the increased threat of flooding, and we continue to lobby the Government for the sustained support needed to protect our communities. COP26 is a crucial moment to make Calderdale’s voice heard.

“We all have a role to play in tackling climate change and there’s lots of work already happening in Calderdale, but we also need change at a global level to make sure what we’re doing locally has the biggest impact. Cutting our carbon emissions will not only tackle the climate emergency – it will also help us live healthier lives in more pleasant neighbourhoods.”

The Council’s progress towards zero carbon so far includes:

- Replacing petrol and diesel vehicles with 35 electric and hybrid vehicles in the Council’s fleet, and increasing the number of electric vehicle charging points in the borough.

- Setting up vehicle-free zones outside schools, bike lanes and better bus and rail facilities, to encourage people to use cars less.

- Planting trees, installing LED streetlights, making energy efficiency improvements in Council buildings and providing insulation for low-income households.

The Council, Totally Locally and Cargodale recently launched a new food delivery service by cargo bike, to support local businesses and the purchase of fresh, locally-produced food whilst reducing carbon emissions.

The Council and the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce recently held a climate-themed ‘Let’s Talk Trade’ webinar for local businesses, looking at how firms can help tackle the climate emergency through sustainability, reducing carbon footprints and renewable energy.

Much more has also been achieved – find out about Calderdale’s response to the climate emergency at www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/council/our-vision/climate-emergency.

Planned projects include:

- A transformed rail station for Halifax, with active travel facilities, better connectivity with key cycle routes and more green space. A proposed new rail station in Elland would enable more people to use public transport.

- New electric vehicle charge points at rail stations across Calderdale.

- Delivering insulation to 284 low-income households and another 60 homes in partnership with Together Housing by December 2021.

- Building 70 energy-efficient homes with £1.2m from the Getting Building Fund.

- Supporting the delivery of further tree planting and nature restoration in partnership with Calder Rivers Trust.

For simple actions we can all take to reduce carbon emissions, head to www.imperial.ac.uk/stories/climate-action

Meanwhile, Coun Patient has clarified the council's position over charge points for electric cars after the Courier was contacted by a reader unsure of the rules and procedures in place about installing an electric charge point at a domestic property.

Coun Patient, said: “Electric vehicles reduce harmful emissions and help us create a healthier, greener and cleaner environment. The Council’s vehicle fleet now includes 35 electric and hybrid vehicles which have replaced old petrol and diesel models. These will cut carbon dioxide emissions by around 75% per vehicle, supporting our ambition to make the borough carbon neutral by 2038 or sooner – ahead of the Government’s target of 2050 and the IPCC’s suggested worldwide target of 2040.

“To support the use of electric vehicles, electric vehicle charging points are in place in ten car parks right across Calderdale as part of a joint project between the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the five West Yorkshire councils and Leeds-based energy and services company, ENGIE. There are also a number of charging points in supermarket car parks and other locations across the borough.

“We know that many people will want to install electric vehicle points at their home and the government’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) is a grant that provides a 75% contribution to the cost of one chargepoint and its installation (up to £350). To qualify for the grant, the vehicle owner must have dedicated off-street parking at their property. More information about EVHS is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/customer-guidance-electric-vehicle-homecharge-scheme/electric-vehicle-homecharge-scheme-guidance-for-customers

“The difficulties associated with the installation of home chargepoints where there is no off-street parking place available are recognised nationally. Although there are alternatives, these can be challenging as there’s currently no one-size-fits all solution. However, we are looking at securing resources to allow us to speed up and simplify the process of finding appropriate alternatives.

“For more information about electric charging and for details of Council charging points in Calderdale, visit https://www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/residents/transport-and-streets/transport-improvements-and-initiatives/electric-vehicle-charging.”