Greens welcome York’s new Climate Change Strategy

Councillor Denise Craghill

York Green Party has welcomed the three new 10 year strategies approved by City of York Council’s executive, and to be discussed by the full council in December. The documents set out strategic plans and targets to address Climate Change, Health & Wellbeing and Economic development in the city.

Cllr Denise Craghill (Executive member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods) welcomed the move. Cllr Craghill said that while the strategies are “not perfect”, they set down a marker and a roadmap to guide future decision making, both by the council and by other institutions and organisations in the city.

For York to be net zero by 2030 requires a reduction in net carbon emissions by 13 per cent each year. City of York Council is committed to this target for its own emissions, but these are only a small fraction of the emissions the city produces. Major changes are needed from organisations, businesses and individuals to realise this ambition.

Cllr Craghill said “Alongside the accompanying Climate Action Plan – which is a living and developing document – this provides a very firm foundation to support the council, city partners and anchor institutions and residents to work together to achieve our climate goals over the coming years…

“We know that in the past unfettered and ill-considered economic growth has – literally – fuelled global warming and climate change. On the other hand, we know that investing in the actions we need to deliver our zero carbon targets will also help us deliver warmer, more comfortable homes with lower energy bills and healthier communities that will reduce the demands on our beleaguered health service…

“What matters now is that we have a clear framework to enable us to get on with working together as a city on these crucial and urgent issues.”

Greens want to see more work on scope three emissions – the embodied carbon from building or manufacturing goods that we consume. For example, the amount of carbon dioxide that would be produced by dualing the York Outer Ring Road is 95 times the annual amount that advocates claim it might save from reduced vehicle emissions!

Greens also want to strengthen the city’s plans on active travel and to address issues of air quality within the city’s strategy for Health & Wellbeing.

Tom Franklin (chair of York Green Party) said “Greens on the council have been pressing hard for strong action on Climate Change, for more equitable plans for citizens’ wellbeing and their economic conditions. These strategies are a major step forwards. In the years ahead, with more Green councillors, we can improve these policies and make sure they are converted into practical actions.”

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