Ambitious plans to halve Leeds’ carbon emissions by 2025 approved

Credit: Alastair Wallace

Plans to more than halve carbon emissions in Leeds by 2025 have been approved by the city’s senior councillors.

The new proposals mean that Leeds City Council will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from 70,000 to 31,000 tonnes by 2025, in line with science-based carbon reduction targets.

The council hopes its plans will inspire individuals, businesses and central government to follow its lead by reducing their own carbon footprint.

In a detailed report discussed by the council’s Climate Emergency Advisory Committee this week, the council has revealed its plan for reducing its carbon emissions by 55%.

By purchasing electricity from renewable sources, the local authority will reduce its carbon footprint by more than 30,000 tonnes. The commitment will also support jobs in the UK’s growing low-carbon sector which employs more than 430,000 people nationwide.

Additionally, the council will work in partnership with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Vital Energi to double the number of properties receiving affordable, sustainable heat from the city’s district heating network over the next 12 months.

Powered by waste from the city’s recycling and energy recovery facility (RERF), the Leeds PIPES district heating network will provide 8 major civic buildings and commercial properties plus 1,983 homes with low carbon heating and hot water by the end of 2020.

Once fully built out the scheme is estimated to reduce the city’s carbon emissions by around 11,000 tonnes per year.

By more than doubling the council’s fleet of 95 electric vehicles – already the largest of any U.K. local authority – the council will further reduce its carbon footprint by another 1,000 tonnes. The switch to more zero-emission vehicles will also help tackle air pollution, protecting the health of everyone in Leeds.

To help reduce food-related emissions and improve the health of pupils, the council’s school meals service Catering Leeds has introduced a delicious and healthy climate-friendly menu at 182 primary schools across the city.