Calderdale climate action heads for international spotlight

Cllr Patient in electric van

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

Cllr 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 amazing 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.

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).

Cllr 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

There is still more to do, and 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 link)