LEP Board reaffirms commitment to tackling the climate emergency as region recovers from COVID-19

Plans to accelerate decarbonisation in wake of pandemic could help create new jobs, more energy efficient homes and sustainable transport

The Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (the LEP) has reaffirmed its commitment to tackling the climate emergency while supporting the region’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The June meeting of the LEP Board, which includes business leaders and councillors from around the City Region, discussed the scale of the challenge of decarbonising the economy, and how measures designed to reduce carbon emissions, create new green jobs and make homes more energy efficient could help the economy to recover from the pandemic. 

The Leeds City Region declared a climate emergency in 2019 and is working towards an ambition of being net zero carbon by 2038. 

Work is currently being undertaken by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, in conjunction with a number of partners, to develop Emission Reduction Pathways which will set out what the region needs to do in order to radically reduce the amount of carbon produced by different sectors of the economy such as transport, energy and industry. 

Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of the LEP, said: The rapid response to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic from businesses, councils and our communities has been phenomenal and we must harness that energy to ensure that our economic recovery is also one which has tackling the climate emergency at is heart. 

“This is a pivotal moment for the Leeds City Region. We have made significant progress over the past 12 months since we declared a climate emergency and now is time to accelerate our plans and ensure we deliver on our commitment. 

The meeting also heard an update from the Combined Authority’s Green Economy Panel – which is made up of a range of industry experts, academic and business leaders as well as councillors. 

The Board discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a number of carbon reduction programmes. Key projects include ReBiz – a scheme to support businesses to lower their energy bills, carbon emissions and water usage – and the Energy Accelerator – an innovative programme which assists the delivery of low carbon projects such as street lighting and district heat networks. 

LEP Board members also heard an update on the wider economic response to COVID-19 pandemic including support on offer for small and medium sized businesses in the City Region and for workers and young people looking to develop their skills. 

The LEP Board meeting took place virtually on Wednesday, June 10, from 2pm.