The development of a major new plan outlining Calderdale’s steps towards a zero carbon future, is just one of the climate action milestones reached in the borough within the last 12 months.
On 30 January 2019, Calderdale Council declared a climate emergency to recognise the threat and challenge that climate change is to Calderdale. Four years on, strong progress has been made to tackle the impacts of climate change.
The borough has already hit the target to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2020 and with further investment in a range of net zero projects is working towards the additional target for the borough to be carbon neutral by 2038, with significant progress by 2030.
Climate action remains one of the Council’s priorities and in the last 12 months, the Council has published its draft Climate Action Plan, which sets out what must be done to meet ambitious net zero targets.
The draft plan acknowledges that climate change is happening now, with more frequent floods, intense heatwaves and devastating wildfires and storms.
In autumn 2022, residents, businesses and visitors to Calderdale were encouraged to share their views on the plan as part of a consultation exercise. The online survey was completed by 414 people and an additional estimated 440 people engaged with the Climate Action Plan workshops and events across the borough. The feedback received is currently being analysed and the outcomes will soon be shared.
Additional progress over the last year includes the major work to reduce the carbon impact of Council buildings by replacing existing gas fuel systems with electric heat pumps (ground source and air source), with funding from the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.
Six Council buildings have already benefited, and work is now also nearing completion at Todmorden Sports Centre, one of the highest carbon emitting buildings in the Council’s estate.
Works here have included the removal of existing gas boilers and replacement with air source heat pumps, installation of roof-mounted solar panels, replacement of the sand filters for the swimming pool with a modern energy efficient microfiltration system and the provision of a new electrical sub-station. Together they’ll save 275 tonnes of carbon emissions associated with the building.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, Cllr Scott Patient, said:
“It’s now four years since we declared a climate emergency in Calderdale and an incredible amount of work has gone on since that time to tackle and mitigate the impacts of climate change in the borough.
“Taking climate action remains one of the Council’s three key priorities and climate impacts are considered as part of all our decision making. We’re working hard to ensure that we continue our good progress and joining forces with local communities and organisations to maximise our efforts and make sure action happens quickly.”
Further action over the last 12 months, includes:
- Helping residents and businesses to become more resilient to the effects of climate change through the launch of a refreshed Eye on Calderdale(external link) website, a one stop source of information about flooding in the borough
- Supporting eight projects through the borough’s £1 million Climate Emergency Fund. The projects support local communities to lead work on saving energy and combatting climate change and include Hour Car, a car share scheme in the Upper Calder Valley, and the retrofit of the WomenCentre building in Halifax.
- The creation of a Climate Action Partnership, a group of elected local councillors from all political parties, members of the Youth Council, community groups, the NHS, housing and third sector representatives, that will ensure delivery of the Climate Action Plan.
Further work will be taking place across Calderdale throughout the next 12 months. To keep up to date, sign up for email updates at: Climate Emergency newsletter(external link)
Building a sustainable and resilient future is a key part of the Vision2024 for Calderdale. The year 2024 marks Calderdale’s 50th birthday. Where do we want to be by 2024? Get involved: www.calderdale.gov.uk/vision