The Leeds Climate Commission was established in 2017 to help Leeds to make a positive choice on issues relating to energy, carbon, weather and climate. It brings together key organisations and actors from across the city and from the public, private and third sectors.
Informed by the work of the UK Committee on Climate Change, the Leeds Climate Commission seeks to be an independent voice in the city, providing authoritative advice on steps towards a low carbon, climate resilient future so as to inform policies and shape the actions of local stakeholders and decision makers. It monitors progress towards meeting the city’s carbon reduction targets and recommend actions to keep the city on track and advise on the assessment of the climate-related risks and adaptation opportunities in the city and on progress towards climate resilience.
Carbon reduction targets are science-based and are based on Leeds’s “share” of the global carbon budget. These targets are accompanied by an emission reduction roadmap for Leeds that shows the extent of action that will need to be taken across all sectors.
It’s worth noting that Leeds has already reduced emissions by 43% from its 2005 baseline. However, the Leeds Climate Commission have advised that to stay within Leeds’s carbon budget the city must achieve a further reduction of 27% by 2025 and an additional 15% by 2030, equating to an overall reduction of 85% from the 2005 baseline.
The Commission aims to foster collaboration on projects that result in measurable contributions towards meeting the city’s climate reduction targets and the delivery of enhanced climate resilience, particularly in the area of flood risk. It will promote best practice in public engagement on climate change and its impacts in order to support robust decision-making.
The Commission also acts as a forum where organisations can exchange ideas, research findings, information and best practice on carbon reduction and climate resilience.
The Commission will produce an annual report that will feed into the democratic process through Leeds City Council and will be presented to the Leeds Sustainable Economy and Culture Board. It will also produce other reports and position papers on an occasional basis.
The Leeds Climate Commission is chaired by Professor Andy Gouldson (University of Leeds), with the vice chair from Leeds City Council (Councillor Lisa Mulherin), with members being drawn from key organisations and groups from across the city.
The Commission will engage more broadly through the Leeds Climate Forum that will hold open meetings at least twice a year. In July 2019, the Commission came together with Leeds City Council to host jointly a city-wide conversation on the climate emergency, ongoing until 31 October. Recommendations will go to the Executive Board by the end of 2019.