Panel recommends East Riding of Yorkshire Council 'declare climate emergency'

Lissett Wind Farm Community Fund Credit: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

A climate change review panel is recommending East Riding of Yorkshire Council declare a climate emergency.

It follows an examination into how the council's policies and practices impact on global warming and the environment.

It's just one of 12 recommendations in the cross-party review panel report, which will be presented to members of the council’s overview management committee on Thursday, 28 January before going before Full Council on Wednesday, 24 February.

The panel was established in 2019 and aims to look at what measures the council should take to continue to reduce its carbon footprint and help reduce the impacts of global warming.

Councillor Mike Medini, chair of the climate change review panel, said:

He added: "We feel the recommendations in this report now gives the council clear aspirations for achieving its environmental goals."

The council has undertaken a number of steps to reduce emissions and be more environmentally friendly, including introducing a number of flood alleviation schemes across the East Riding, achieving a 23% reduction in the energy used by street lights since 2015/16 as well as being the top recycling authority in England for the past three years.

Residents living on the coastline in Skipsea are all too familiar with the impacts of climate change. Credit: PA Images

However, over a 14-month period, the panel has analysed existing approaches to reducing emissions and fighting climate change and has made the following recommendations for the council to act upon:

  • Declaring a climate emergency.

  • Developing a climate change strategy which will be linked to an action plan that identifies key opportunities for climate change mitigation and adaptation in the East Riding as well as reviewing the council’s Environmental Policy

  • Committing to reviewing its procurement procedures to ensure that environmental factors are fully considered and appropriately weighted when analysing potential contracts

  • Considering undertaking viability studies into the use of hydrogen as a fuel in areas where partnership arrangements could be put in place to share costs and benefit from reduced carbon emissions

  • Developing partnership working by building on existing relationships and creating new ones and helpings influence behaviours and ambitions on climate change in both the public and private sectors, including offering help and guidance to residents, schools and businesses on how they can reduce their carbon footprint

Councillor Mike Stathers, deputy leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said:

He added: "By taking a considered and meticulous approach, a declaration will now provide residents, businesses and communities with a clear plan on how the East Riding will move forward and tackle this issue and I do believe this places the council in a strong position to deliver in comparisons to other local authority areas.

"The council had always recognised the threat of climate change and the risks it posed and had undertaken a great deal of work over the years to address this but we are not complacent and realise a great deal more needs to be done, and will be done.

"On the back of this report and its recommendations, the council can now move at pace to deliver, including on new projects to ensure the East Riding is leading the way to help combat climate change."