Climate emergency

Climate emergency

Why we must act now

We declared a climate emergency in 2019 because we all must take urgent action to improve and protect our environment.

Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide trap heat, helping to warm the globe. The amount of carbon emissions are now causing an overall warming of the planet with corresponding devastating impacts starting to be felt.

Cases of extreme weather such as heat waves and rainfall are having consequences already in Kirklees with issues such as moorland fires and flooding in particular affecting the region.

Our 2038 carbon neutral vision

Our vision is to make Kirklees completely carbon neutral by 2038.

This will mean carbon emissions from human activities in Kirklees will need to be dramatically reduced to zero with any remaining emissions safely removed from the atmosphere. This can also be referred to as achieving 'net zero' carbon emissions by 2038.

How we are doing this

Phase One

Increase the amount of electric vehicle charging points

Massively increasing the amount of public electric vehicle charging points to become one of the UK's best networks.

What we have done

Installed more electric vehicle charging points

Kirklees Council have been working with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Electric Vehicle Network Operator ENGIE, to install a network of public rapid chargers across the region, which are free to use until 29 October 2021. To continue to support our residents in the move to low emission vehicles, we are investing a further £1million in delivering a mixture of fast and rapid charging points for public use across the district.

Read more about West Yorkshire | ENGIE Chargepoint Network

Someone charging their electric car

Low emission cars park for free

All low and ultra-low emission cars park for free in Kirklees

What we have done

Relaunched green parking permits

The Green One permit provides free parking for electric vehicles (EVs) and 50% discounted parking for Ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs), as well as lower-emission vehicles (LEVs) including low emission hybrid vehicles. The permit covers all council run pay and display areas. Maximum stays will still be enforced through the use of a parking clock, similar to that used by disabled badge holders, and it does not guarantee a parking space.

Apply for A Green One parking permit

Electric car parking space

Add more electric vehicles to Kirklees Council's fleet

Adding signficantly more electric vehicles to Kirklees Council's fleet.

What we have done

We now have over 110 electric or hybrid vehicles in our fleet. We are also installing three innovative 'vehicle to grid' (V2G) EV chargers in two of our council depots. These will feed excess vehicle charge back to the national grid when electric vehicles are not being used.

More information can be found in the Green Fleet on Your Street article

Kirklees Council electric van

Plant more trees

Planting more trees through the White Rose Forest Partnership.

What we have done

Planted 35864 trees since 2019

Kirklees Council is supporting the White Rose Forest's target of increasing the tree canopy cover by 2050 to 2500 hectares. This will result in a 35% increase in tree cover across the district to a total coverage of just over 20%.

To date 8,366 trees have been planted over 7 hectares in 2019/20 season over more than 12 sites across the district. In 2020/21 season 27,498 trees were planted over 18 hectares across more than 27 sites. One of the key sites for tree planting is Dewsbury Country Park, which is a former landfill site, and is one of the largest new areas of tree planting in the north of England. The woodland creation programme aims to contribute to long-term carbon storage, reverse biodiversity loss and provide opportunities for access to high quality woodlands for our citizens as well as providing a home for nature.

Find out more information on The White Rose Forest

A person planting a tree

Create a Kirklees Climate Commission and Kirklees Green Charter

Establishing a Kirklees Climate Commission and developing a Kirklees Green Charter.

What we have done

Created and launched a Kirklees Climate Commission

The Kirklees Climate Commission, whose creation has been led by Kirklees Council with assistance from partners, has been established as an independent advisory body to bring representatives from the public, private and third sectors together to support and guide ambitious climate actions across all parts of Kirklees. The main commission is set to meet quarterly with its first meeting in July 2021, hosted by the council in Dewsbury Town Hall. Moving forwards, the commission will continue to be supported by the council through the provision of a small secretariat. The Kirklees Climate Commission is part of the ESRC-funded Place-Based Climate Action Network (PCAN). For more information visit www.kirkleesclimate.org.uk

Two people cycling

Host a Kirklees Youth Summit

Hosting a Kirklees Youth Summit on climate change.

What we have done

In March we hosted a Climate Youth Summit

The two-day Young People's Climate Festival took place in March 2021, as an online event delivered by Kirklees Council's 'Our Voice' Team. The festival aimed to 'kick start' our climate conversation with children and young people, providing them with a platform where their voices could be heard, and for them to understand they play a big part of our vision. Beyond the festival, the council has listened to feedback raised during the festival, including providing Eco Ambassador schemes to some of the schools who took part, and the future establishment of a Climate Commission Youth Panel.

The festival web resource continues to remain accessible to a wider audience at Our Climate Our Voice

Young people protesting about climate change

Increase recycling rate

Recycling rate of 55 percent by 2025.

What we have done

Zero Waste Kirklees

  • Re-introduced the brown bin collection service - In 2019 we brought in an annual subscription-based Brown Bin collection which allows residents to recycle their garden waste at the kerbside, thereby reducing the need to travel to a recycling centre in their own cars.
  • Re-launched our school recycling service introducing trade waste - A brand-new trade waste recycling service has also been launched alongside a new schools recycling and education programme, allowing businesses and schools to reduce the amount of waste they throw away and further increase our recycling rate. A new Commercial Recycling Officer has already signed up over 100 schools to this service, which will also involve Recycling Advisors visiting schools and community groups to educate them on the four Rs - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Refuse.
  • Launched our new waste and recycling strategy - There are several schemes on offer or in the pipeline to help Kirklees residents, schools and businesses improve their recycling and reduce their waste as part of the new waste and recycling strategy.

These include;

  • A trial for kerbside glass recycling collections in 2022, again making recycling easier for residents and reducing the need to travel to bottle banks.
  • A proposal for a food waste collection service by 2026 which aims to send food waste for anaerobic digestion, thereby reducing methane emissions and creating green energy.
  • These changes would potentially increase the recycling rate in Kirklees to 55% or more.
  • In a shorter timeframe reuse collection points will feature at Dewsbury and Emerald Street, Household Recycling Centres with a shop in Huddersfield where people can hand in items for reuse. A shop is also set to open which will sell good second-hand furniture deposited by residents at these reuse sites.
  • View the Kirklees waste strategy
  • Read about the schools and businesses recycling service
A person recycling used paper

Set a carbon budget

Using independent analysis to set a 'carbon-budget' for Kirklees to achieve our net zero ambition. We will also publically disclose our carbon emissions.

What we have done

CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project)

Kirklees is one of many areas and cities across the UK working with CDP who collectively are disclosing over 8000 urban sustainability actions, demonstrating their commitment to building a sustainable economy and tackling climate change.

Four people walking towards Castle Hill

Additional schemes include

Green Electricity supplies to Council Buildings

Since April 2021 nPower have been supplying electricity to the council that is independently verified renewable power, that's also fully compliant for zero-carbon reporting. The renewable energy matches the power consumed with the equivalent volume of renewable power supplied to the grid. This is evidenced by securing the corresponding number of Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificates, which are issued for each megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable generation fed into the UK electricity system. The exact renewable mix is unknown until it is actually traded, but typically is a mix of Wind Power, Solar PV and Hydroelectricity.

Huddersfield Heat Network

The Huddersfield Heat Network project is an opportunity in providing heat and power from the town's Energy from Waste (EfW) facility to premises in Huddersfield town centre. The Heat Network will play an important part in reducing the carbon emissions from the district's main town. Crucially, this will be primarily through the decarbonisation of heat, which is a much more challenging area of the energy industry to decarbonise relative to electricity. As the infrastructure of the network itself is likely to outlast several sources of heat, it is also considered a key enabling technology for future low carbon heat sources.

Sustainable transport

The council is already working across its internal estate to consider improvements for staff to travel more sustainably, both to work and for business miles. Kirklees have successfully pursued and secured significant funding towards the improvement of sustainable transport networks including public transport improvements and for active modes of travel such as walking and cycling. The benefits of these will be seen on the ground within the next 5 years. The council is also engaged with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, in creating the Connectivity Infrastructure Plan - a clear vision for transport improvements over the next 20 years.

Phase Two

Programme and action plan

A detailed and ambitious programme and action plan is in development to set out how Kirklees becomes carbon neutral by 2038.