What is the aim of new Harrogate Climate Action Festival

If the many words spoken about a carbon zero future for Harrogate district are to turn into a reality, a series of events in the first Harrogate Climate Action Festival this October may prove crucial

By Graham Chalmers
Friday, 27th August 2021, 3:26 pm
The PlanetMark Battle Bus which is coming to Harrogate Climate Action Festival as part of The #ZeroCarbonTour of the UK.
The PlanetMark Battle Bus which is coming to Harrogate Climate Action Festival as part of The #ZeroCarbonTour of the UK.

If Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Government is under pressure to show its green credentials in the run-up to Britain’s hosting of the UN Climate Change Conference in just over two months’ time, momentum for Harrogate to do its bit, too, is also growing.

In a week which has seen Harrogate councillors support plans for a major solar farm between Harrogate and Ripon, new pleas have been issued to local businesses to get involved in Harrogate’s first-ever Climate Action Festival this October.

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Packed with events showing how we can all go more ‘green’, the flagship event, a “net zero business” conference will take place on Friday, October 15 at Harrogate Convention Centre.

Hosted by Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition, Harrogate Borough Council and Planet Mark, businesses are being invited to join the event, which is sponsored by Chameleon Technology, to discuss the concept of net zero carbon and why it is critical for businesses to make this transition.

Attendees will hear carbon success stories from 16 speakers, including local organisations such as Yorkshire Water and Bettys & Taylors, as well as learning how to support their business’s net zero carbon journey.

Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition’s vice chair, Coun Phil Ireland said: “The coalition is a group of like-minded volunteers who have worked very hard together over the past 15 months to make the new festival happen.

“Responding to the climate crisis facing us all is not just an issue for us at council. It’s an issue for every resident and business across the district.

“I urge anyone with an interest in carbon reduction and climate change to attend these events and learn what we can all do to improve our local environment.”

The Net Zero Business Conference is just one part of the three-week Climate Action Festival which will run at locations across Harrogate from October 1-21 as the Government prepares to host the the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from October 31.

Formed initially by Harrogate Borough Council in 2019, Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition has evolved into a more independent group of businesses, public sector organisations and voluntary groups promoting carbon reduction activities in the district.

Kirsty Hallett, Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition’s chair of communications, said: “The climate action festival will offer practical solutions to reduce carbon emissions from energy, transport and land use.

“The response from local community groups so far has been fabulous.”

In a sign that what happens in Harrogate also matters elsewhere, The #ZeroCarbonTour and Carbon Battle Bus is heading to the town during the Climate Action Festival as part of a UK-wide tour on route to COP26.

One of the local firms backing the Climate Action Festival says the three weeks in October could set the scene for a major step forward for the town’s environmental future.

Mike Kaye, managing director of Energy Oasis, a Harrogate-based company which helps businesses and communities to achieve zero-carbon status, said: “We see the festival as a way for Harrogate to build on its status by showing the rest of the country how to develop and deliver on its climate commitment.

“It will also people to really understand what they can do to help the planet and each other.”