I would like to start by thanking you for giving me the opportunity to speak to you today.
As a York resident and on behalf York Green Party, I would like to applaud the decision to consider switching to a renewable tariff within the Council’s contract with N-power.
This kind of divestment from the harmful and environmentally damaging use of fossil fuels is essential to reducing the Council’s carbon emissions and mitigating climate change.
By reducing the carbon emissions from its buildings, the Council is demonstrating its commitment to implementing policies that respond to the climate emergency declared by the Council in March 2019.
I understand that the Council is limited by the contract with Npower. Therefore this proposed change is designed to go as far as is possible within the contract.
However, in the longer term, I would encourage the Council to use its buying power to support companies that invest only in renewables, such as Ecotricity and Good Energy. These are companies that take the climate emergency seriously and do not maintain any degree of fossil fuel burning to aid their profitability.
If the UK is to reach their modest carbon neutrality goal of 2050 (and that target is, in any event, too late and action is necessary to reach zero carbon much, much earlier) then we must move away from reliance on companies that continue to burn fossil fuels in the name of profit and with little regard for the health of people or the planet.
As I understand it, the contract with Npower comes to an end in 2023. I hope the Council will use the time between now and then to negotiate with the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation to ensure that the next contract will be based on renewable energy only.
At the same time it is important that mechanisms are put in place that provide real opportunities for those companies that only provide renewable energy to be able to compete effectively for such contracts.
I would like to thank you for this positive step in the right direction and encourage you in the future to chart a bold path towards a zero carbon York.