Harrogate Climate Change Coalition approves plan for action and opts to go independent

The first AGM of Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition (HDCCC) last night, Tuesday, marked three important steps intended to facilitate climate activity and achieve growing momentum towards net zero carbon in rural and urban Harrogate District.

Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 6:06 pm
A step forward for Harrogate District Climate Change - Professor Neil Coles, Fellow at the University of Leeds, was unanimously voted into the role of Chair of HDCCC.

A new chair was elected, the coalition formally agreed to move forward towards new independent governance arrangements, and the 2021 action plan was approved.

Professor Neil Coles, Fellow at the University of Leeds, was unanimously voted into the role of Chair of HDCCC.

Prof Coles brings extensive knowledge of water & land-use, and is therefore in a strong position to build on relationships with rural businesses, farmers and others who are developing natural climate solutions.

The climate coalition board approved recommendations last night to become an independent organisation, as it develops from the initial arrangements set up by Harrogate Borough Council.

The purpose is to increase what it can achieve to support the rural and urban parts of the district to rapidly reach net zero.

HDCCC has also thanked pro-bono input from consultants FM Management Solutions for their research and presentation of a high-level options appraisal.

Coun Phil Ireland said: ‘’We welcome Professor Neil Coles as the new Chair of Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition. These are exciting times for the Coalition as we embrace a new governance model.

"This positive move towards having the Coalition chaired independently from the Council will secure wider buy-in and open up funding opportunities.’’

Prof Neil Coles, “This group has gained some energy by going forward in the direction of a Community Interest Company, or similar.

"This year we will be building on the good work of the team of hard-working volunteers.

"Planned activities will be focussed on encouraging greater involvement by businesses, farmers, educators schools and community groups and community groups in achieving progress towards net zero emissions throughout the district. what has been done already.”

Strong links with local policy makers will be secured through Cllr Phil Ireland’s move from outgoing Chair of HDCCC into a new position as Vice-Chair. Cllr Phil Ireland is Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for climate change and sustainability, which ensures the voice of the coalition will be represented strongly in local government.

A spokesperson for HDCCC action plan said: “The HDCCC action plan for 2021 has been drawn up by the coalition sub-groups, to provide clarity about the work they are doing this year. Of course, we can’t do everything and other groups, organisations and individuals will still be responsible for their own areas of influence and expertise.”

For 2021, communicating behaviour change choices will be a key theme, with energy and travel projects aiming to delivering emission reductions, and policy advocacy focussed on sustainable transport.

All members of HDCCC board and subgroups are volunteers, offering their professional expertise in a pro-bono capacity.

Additional support from local businesses on either the main board or in sub-groups would enable it to achieve even more.

If you are willing to discuss how you can help our district to reach net zero by 2038 at the latest, please get in touch via www.hdccc.info

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