Leeds to launch pioneering Climate Commission

A pioneering Climate Commission is set to be launched in Leeds to encourage investment in low-carbon, climate-resilient developments.

The Leeds Climate Commission harnesses the capacity of 24 key businesses and organisations, and is believed to be capable of saving millions of pounds. It will set out the economic case for low carbon development not only for Leeds, but for each of the UK’s 50 biggest cities and for all local authorities across the UK.

A recent study by the University of Leeds has claimed that the UK’s 50 largest cities could save £7 billion each year and create over 90,000 years’ worth of extra employment by adopting simple measures to cut their energy use and counter climate change.

Total energy bills of the UK’s 50 biggest cities currently amount to over £35 billion a year, equalling an average of £1,500 per person.

According to the university, cost-effective measures would see more than £2 billion wiped off a total yearly energy bill of more than £11 billion by 2026 in London alone. Additionally, carbon emissions would fall by 23.5 per cent over and above current predictions as a result.

Judith Blake, leader of the council, said: “In Leeds we are fully committed to creating a low carbon, climate resilient city, and the Climate Commission takes us another step closer to this. It will ensure that organisations across the city come together and really make a move to cut the city’s energy bill and look at how we can pass these savings on to households.”

Professor Andy Gouldson, who led the cities study, said: “There is so much more we could and should be doing to unlock these opportunities. All cities are struggling to deliver things like low-carbon strategies in the face of spending cuts, but we’ve proved that garnering investment in practical energy-saving measures is a win-win for all involved. Industry wins, local authorities win, householders win and the climate wins.”

Leeds is at the forefront of energy efficiency schemes, saving 1,200 tonnes of CO2 per year through a successful solar scheme, as well as launching White Rose Energy, a not-for-profit energy company which offers low cost energy to all households with pricing that is fair and transparent.

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