The largest council in the UK to declare a Climate Emergency, Leeds Labour has ruled out fracking, introduced a clean air zone with charges to encourage businesses to move to less polluting vehicles, is installing new charge points for electric vehicles – and has the largest fleet of council-owned electric vehicles in the UK. All this – alongside new Park and Ride taking 9000 cars a week off Leeds roads – means Leeds Labour council is doing what it can within the constraints of hugely reduced funding to tackle Climate Change at local level. With a target of 50% recycling next year – and new fines for dog fouling – Labour will continue to work to make Leeds green.
“Scientists are clear – we are facing a climate emergency.
Last year the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report on the state of climate science, warning that if the planet warmed by 1.5°C there would be devastating consequences, such as the loss of most coral reefs, and increased extreme weather such as heatwaves and floods.
Under Labour, Leeds City Council has now declared a climate emergency and pledged to make Leeds carbon-neutral by 2030. Leeds is the largest council in the UK to have done so.
This is in stark contrast to the Conservatives who are refusing to acknowledge this global catastrophe. In his budget last year, the Chancellor didn’t even mention climate change and locally the Leeds Conservatives refused to vote on the Climate Emergency motion.
We desperately need a Labour Government to tackle this global problem – but until then Leeds will do our part.
Areas of the UK have now turned to Fracking, but under Labour, Leeds City Council believes this is not and nor should ever be an option.
Next year Leeds City Council will introduce the city’s clean air zone to reduce air pollution and protect the health of everyone in Leeds.
This will reduce air pollution in Leeds by encouraging businesses to transition to cleaner, less polluting vehicles that won’t be subject to daily charges. It will be the largest zone of its kind in the country. All money raised from the clean air zone will be reinvested into making our city’s air cleaner.
We have already seen some positive effects of this work, with new ultra-low emission Euro VI engine buses being introduced to Leeds. We will continue to work with Metro and the bus companies to encourage a greater adoption of this before the clean air zone comes into effect.
To help businesses switch to cleaner vehicles and avoid charges, we will be offering a range of support packages for affected businesses based within the boundary of the clean air zone as well as installing 30 charge points in and around Leeds within the next year, making it easier and more accessible for residents to do their bit.
As part of this, Leeds City Council under Labour has been leading by example and investing in a move to electric vehicles. We now have the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the UK.
Reducing the number of cars that come into the city centre is also a priority. The park and ride we have already introduced at Temple Green and Elland Road have been hugely successful and take 9000 cars off the road every week. We will be expanding these across the city – including in North and South Leeds.
We also need to drastically reduce the amount we put into landfill. On average, every household in Leeds produces 470kg of household waste per year at the kerbside and we currently recycle around 40 percent of that waste. We will push that recycling rate to 50 percent by next year and will continue to lobby the government for the proper funding so we can go even further.
Looking more locally, there were 1892 reports of dog fouling across Leeds. Labour have now introduced new fines of up to £100 for people failing to pick up their dog’s mess and this has already led to a reduction in reports of fouling.”