Zero Carbon Harrogate on why we should capitalise on COP26 event locally and not wait for Government

Harrogate environmental pressure group Zero Carbon Harrogate says it is quietly encouraged by progress at COP26 this week but insists our district needs to get on with its own climate action.

Friday, 5th November 2021, 4:42 pm
Updated Friday, 5th November 2021, 4:44 pm
Zero Carbon Harrogate's chair Jemima Parker said the pledges already made at the UN summit in Glasgow this week represented important “first steps in building the way for a zero carbon world”.

ZCH’s chair Jemima Parker said the pledges already made at the UN summit in Glasgow this week represented important “first steps in building the way for a zero carbon world”.

But, she added, the scale of the climate emergency meant Harrogate could not wait for anyone else to tackle the

problem.

She said: “The initial outcomes from the COP26 talks are very encouraging: agreement to stop deforestation globally by 2030; a commitment to cut methane emissions by 30% by 2030; and India’s first pledge to be carbon net zero by 2070.

“It is an enormous achievement to get any kind of global agreements in place with so many self interested

countries.

“These first steps are important in building the way for a zero carbon world.

“However, in order to actually prevent runaway global warming these pledges will need not only to be implemented, with national policies but they will need to be accelerated in order to cut carbon emissions much more rapidly.”

Set up in 2016, Zero Carbon Harrogate (ZCH) brings together a group of residents from the Harrogate District from many walks of life in order to support the development of a low carbon sustainable economy, which will improve the quality of life for Harrogate district residents.

Keen to avoid partisan politics, it has worked in a positive fashion as a member of Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition which organised the town’s first Climate Action Festival last month.

The event has been widely praised and Zero Carbon Harrogate who see it as evidence that our district has the capacity to hit its own carbon reduction targets.

Harrogate Borough Council’s climate change strategy sets out the goal of achieving a net zero-carbon economy by 2038 and cutting the district’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 80% by 2050.

She added: “It’s perhaps difficult to get excited about a conference which may seem rather distant but, locally, we can capture the benefits of accelerating the transition to net zero.

“The recent Harrogate Climate Action Festival demonstrated the appetite from businesses and residents wanting to take action.

“We look forward to the UK Government developing policies that reward low carbon business and investment in infrastructure such as active travel and public transport.

“But we don’t have to wait for this, as a district we should be looking to draw in investment for “green” businesses that will give our local economy a sustainable future.”

For more information on Zero Carbon Harrogate, visit: www. zerocarbonharrogate.org.uk