Harrogate plans to help make North Yorkshire carbon neutral

The plans piggyback off work already done in Harrogate and the county.
The plans piggyback off work already done in Harrogate and the county.

North Yorkshire County councillors will consider a move later this month which could see the authority achieve "carbon neutral" status by 2030.

The ambitious plans are set to be tabled at a full meeting of the county council on July 24, with Harrogate Borough Council leader Richard Cooper, who also sits on the county authority, to move the motion.

Coun Cooper's motion would see the county produce its own specific carbon reduction plan, in a bid to achieve - or get as possible to achieving - carbon neutrality.

The news was welcomed by Jemima Parker, the chair of carbon reduction advocacy group Zero Carbon Harrogate.

"Councillor Cooper's motion on climate change action for North Yorkshire County Council is a very welcome response to the serious climate breakdown situation," she said.

"It includes an appropriately ambitious 2030 carbon neutral target, which could bring added benefits of green jobs, better air quality and healthier lifestyles for local residents.

"We particularly welcome the call for NYCC to set out a carbon reduction strategy and to work with other local councils. We would urge them to do this as a matter of urgency as each delay makes carbon neutrality harder and more costly to achieve."

The motion in full states the council would aim to work with district councils to cut emissions across the county.

"This council recognises that many districts within North Yorkshire have already passed motions committing to carbon reduction measures with the aim of becoming carbon neutral. It also acknowledges and supports the Government’s announcement that it would aim for the UK to be carbon neutral by 2050," the proposed motion states.

"North Yorkshire County Council has already formed an executive sub-group concentrating on climate change and made progress in reducing carbon emissions.

"This council now commits to produce its own carbon reduction plan. As part of this plan, the council will draw together the relevant representatives from the district councils to discuss how working together, we can achieve net carbon neutrality by, or as close to, 2030.

"The plan will be reviewed annually and a carbon reduction report will be presented to full council annually by the leader of the council or an executive member nominated by him to champion carbon reduction."

Lachlan Leeming, Local Democracy Reporter