Council’s climate response shortlisted for national award

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Calderdale Council’s work to tackle the climate emergency has received national recognition, as one of only 10 councils shortlisted in the Climate Response category of the prestigious LGC Awards.

The awards, which are held annually by the Local Government Chronicle (LGC), recognise the best of local government innovation and service delivery. A record number of entries were received for the 2021 awards, making the Council’s shortlisting all the more impressive.

The Climate Response award is intended to mark excellence in any aspect of a council’s work in addressing the carbon footprint of the council, its services and its broader local area.

The Council’s award submission recognises the threat that climate change represents in Calderdale and highlights the significant progress made to tackle the climate crisis since the Council declared a climate emergency in 2019.

Tackling climate change is one of the three priorities for the Council and despite the challenges of COVID, the organisation has maintained a focus on the climate emergency and progressed a range of key climate projects both internally and with partners.

As a borough, Calderdale aims to be carbon neutral by 2038 at the latest, with significant progress by 2030. It’s hoped this will be achieved even sooner with in-house emissions and significant progress has already been made to reduce the carbon footprint of the Council.

To help meet these ambitious targets the Council has already introduced a number of initiatives, including the use of electric vehicles in the Council’s fleet, additional electric vehicle charging points in the borough, tree planting, LED street lights installation, energy efficiency improvements in Council buildings and insulation for low-income households.

The Council is also working in partnership with the Community Foundation for Calderdale to launch a ‘Climate Emergency Fund’ to help combat the impact that climate change is having on the borough. Over £1million has been pledged to support local projects aimed at reducing carbon emission.

The award submission details further innovative and bold initiatives planned, as well as hard-hitting campaigns linking climate emergency work to high profile events and everyday activities to start climate conversations. It also demonstrates the Council’s borough-wide response, with ongoing work to resource ambitious climate work with local businesses, communities and partners.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Resilience, Cllr Scott Patient, said:

“In Calderdale, we’re living with the impacts of the climate crisis. In February 2020, the borough suffered its fourth major flood in just eight years – unfortunately this means that the borough is flooding more frequently than at any other time in its history.

“As a Council, we therefore recognise more than most the need for urgent action to tackle climate change; it’s one of our key priorities and environmental impacts are a consideration in every decision we make. It’s also fundamental to the ambitions for the future of Calderdale as part of our Vision2024.

“I’m delighted this commitment to the climate agenda has been recognised by the LGC and it’s a real achievement to be shortlisted for the Climate Response award.

“Our nomination acknowledges what we’ve already achieved and also our ambitious plans for rapid climate action, both within the Council and borough-wide, working with local partners and our communities.”

LGC editor Nick Golding said:

“The past year of COVID response has stretched councils and their staff to the limit, and yet still local government has innovated and provided the leadership places have so desperately needed during the pandemic.

“The LGC Awards are about recognising the most exceptional local government talent – and in this year, of all years, we can really say that those shortlisted have put in a truly heroic performance.”

Further judging will take place in the autumn with the final awards ceremony taking place in November 2021 in London. View the full shortlist at link)

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