Wessenden Valley Sunset

Our vision is for a Net Zero and Climate Ready Kirklees by 2038.

This provides Kirklees with focus on both mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

For mitigation, carbon emissions from human activities within Kirklees will need to be dramatically reduced to zero, with any remaining emissions safely removed from the atmosphere.

Adaptation is about strengthening Kirklees' process to adjust to the actual and expected climate and its effects. Taking action on adaptation will reduce the potential impact that our changing climate - through flooding, storms, and higher temperatures, will have on Kirklees.

Overall emission reduction target

Our overall target for emission reduction is to achieve 'Net-Zero by 2038'.

But why 2038?

In August 2019, the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research produced a report for Kirklees Council outlining recommended climate change targets based upon the commitments in the 2015 Paris Agreement to stay "well below 2°C and pursuing 1.5°C" for global temperature rise. This work was informed by climate science and defined in terms of science-based carbon budget setting.

The report recommended that Kirklees aims to "reach zero or near zero carbon no later than 2041."

Following the report from the Tyndall Centre, Kirklees set a more ambitious target to reach net-zero by 2038, aligning with both the West Yorkshire Combined Authority's target, and the regional target for Yorkshire and Humber set by the Yorkshire Leaders Board.

The units Kirklees have and will continue to use in the monitoring of emission reduction is CO2 (carbon dioxide) equivalent - meaning we will consider all greenhouse gases, and not just carbon dioxide.

The Tyndall Centre report for Kirklees can be found at Manchester University: Find a carbon budget report , by selecting "Yorkshire and Humber" and then "Kirklees" before pressing "Submit".

Stepping-stone emission reduction targets

To achieve 'Net Zero by 2038', we have developed a series of 'steppingstone', SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) targets of emission reduction, against the baseline year inventory from the year 2000.

Outlined in Table 1 within our Kirklees Climate Change Action Plan and on pg. 24 of the Net Zero Assessment these targets are as follows:

  • 63% reduction by 2025
  • 78% reduction by 2030
  • 87% reduction by 2035
  • 92% reduction by 2040
  • 95% reduction by 2045
  • 100% reduction by 2050

Our emission reduction journey will be assessed against these targets through our Monitoring and Evaluation process, outlined on the progress page.

Adaptation target

Our target for climate change adaptation is to be 'Climate Ready by 2038'.

But why climate ready?

Becoming 'climate ready' will help the area of Kirklees, its communities, residents, infrastructure, and environment to facilitate a reduction in our emissions and be prepared to mitigate against the impacts experienced from severe weather events.

We accept that the large proportion of climate emissions released into the atmosphere by human activity are already 'locked in', the consequence of which is already being felt by communities within Kirklees, the UK and across the world.

It is important therefore that both the Council and the district of Kirklees understands the impacts and opportunities climate change presents to the communities and business within the district, whilst developing measures that can be collectively implemented to protect the most vulnerable residents, alongside reducing the economic, environmental, and broader social impact that will be experienced.

The risks facing Kirklees and its communities are outlined in the 'Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (CCRVA)' on our evidence page.