Two years on from Storm Ciara

Tree planting Hebden Bridge

Two years on from Storm Ciara, Calderdale Council is reflecting on the progress made, thanking communities for their ongoing support and reminding people that we continue to live in a climate emergency.

Wednesday 9 February marks the second anniversary of Storm Ciara, which caused 10 miles of damage across Calderdale in 2020, just before the COVID-19 pandemic.

With its steep-sided valleys and riverside communities, Calderdale is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change – shown by the increasing number and severity of recent floods in the borough. Storm Ciara was Calderdale’s fourth major flood in just eight years.

However, Calderdale has hope, resilience and kindness, and over the last two years, the whole borough has pulled together to make significant progress in tackling climate change. This includes:

  • Achieving the target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions within the Council and Calderdale by 40% by 2020.
  • Declaring a bold and ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2038, with significant progress by 2030 (above and beyond the UK target of 2050).
  • Mapping out a path to make Calderdale carbon neutral, through the Emissions Reduction Pathway. A Climate Action Plan is in development.
  • Investing in a range of net zero projects to tackle the climate emergency in the borough.
  • Launching the £1million Climate Fund to support local voluntary sector climate change projects, delivered in partnership with the Community Foundation for Calderdale. The first grants were awarded in October 2021 and the next round is due to open for applications in March 2022.
  • Investing in a range of projects to boost flood resilience, including an additional £1million to support Natural Flood Management in Calderdale after this extra funding was announced in December 2021.

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

“Storm Ciara in February 2020 was Calderdale’s latest major flood, but we have faced dozens of weather warnings and flood alerts since then. We know how worrying these are for local residents and businesses, and they are a stark reminder that we’re living in a climate crisis.

“We also know that one of Calderdale’s main strengths is its community spirit, which gets us through the tough times and has helped to make great progress in the joint work to reduce flood risk and tackle the climate emergency. Thank you to everyone for continuing to pull together.

“Last November, the international COP26 conference in Glasgow gave us a strong platform to raise our concerns, highlight the severe impact of climate change in Calderdale, and to call for the continued national support that we need. We saw people of all ages get involved, and that gives me faith that we can make a lasting difference.”

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:


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