Climate Action Leeds: New five-year project to launch empowering ordinary people to tackle climate change in Leeds

An ambitious project aimed at empowering ordinary people with ways to tackle climate change is set to launch in Leeds.

Friday, 15th October 2021, 11:20 pm
Climate Action Leeds is a five-year community programme which provides a platform for people, organisations and communities to come together to take action on climate change.

Climate Action Leeds is a five-year community programme which will focus on bringing together communities and campaign groups in response to the climate emergency.

The project, which has been awarded funding from the National Lottery, hopes this will spark a city-wide effort to help transform Leeds into a zero carbon and nature friendly city by the 2030s.

It comes after Leeds City Council formally declared a climate emergency in 2019, where it made ambitious commitments to become a 100 per cent green economy over the next decade.

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MP Alex Sobel will be speaking at the Climate Action Leeds launch event. Photo: Tony Johnson.

Professor Paul Chatterton, from the University of Leeds, has been involved since the inception of Climate Action Leeds.

Mr Chatteron said: “This is going to be huge.

“Climate Action Leeds has been over a year in the making, and now it feels like everyone's efforts and the energy and support from countless people in Leeds is starting to really make a difference.

“Getting to zero carbon is no small feat but it is definitely doable - we just need the people of Leeds, the council, and our major institutions to work together, to get on board with this and make it happen.

“Big changes are needed, but they’re changes that will benefit us all massively.”

Part of the project will see a city plan developed to help all residents to live well and within the city’s environmental limits whilst still meeting their wellbeing needs.

The project will also work with key industry sectors to help inspire changes in the crucial areas highlighted by the Leeds Climate Change Citizens' Jury such as energy, housing, food and education.

The project is also centred around climate justice, organisers said.

This means the group will aim to create change that is also socially and environmentally sustainable.

By enabling and encouraging industry sectors to support community-led action, Climate Action Leeds said it hopes to promote the redistribution of power, democratise decision-making, and support self-determination and accountability.

Clarrie Ramsden is part of the community hub Climate Action Seacroft, which has been supported by Climate Action Leeds.

Ms Ramsden said: “This is a huge opportunity for Leeds that we should seize with both hands.”

“For me this is about putting some power back into the hands of Leeds residents to be able to do something about the climate emergency we are facing and to say this is what our community wants to see and this is how we can make it happen.”

The project will be launching on Monday, October 11.

MP for Leeds North West, Alex Sobel, is speaking at the official online launch event.

Mr Sobel said: “I’m proud that Leeds has such an inspiring and forward-thinking project like Climate Action Leeds to help us face the enormous challenge that is the climate crisis.

“It is so important that projects like this one seek to empower citizens to take action, as we need action both globally and locally - we have to work together to create the future we want to see.”

“This is an exciting time for Leeds, it’s our chance to be part of something bigger, and to cement our reputation as a forward thinking, innovative and vibrant city with unrivalled community spirit.”

Climate Action Leeds is led by six partner organisations - Voluntary Action Leeds, Our Future Leeds, Leeds Love It Share It, Together For Peace, Leeds Tidal and CAG Consultants, and is supported by over 40 groups in Leeds, many of which contributed to its planning.

Launch week events

Monday October 11

- Virtual Citizen Discussion on Climate Policies in the North: This online event will take place on Zoom between 12 - 1pm

- Nature, food and the climate emergency in Leeds: This in-person event will be held in Meanwood Valley Urban Farm between 1pm to 4pm.

- Launch of Climate Action Leeds: The online launch event will take place on Zoom between 6 to 8pm

Tuesday October 12

- Transport, mobility, and climate justice: This online event will take place on Zoom between 1.40 - 3.40pm.

- Organising the work & economy sector in Leeds: This online event will take place on Zoom between 4pm and 6pm.

- Induction workshop: This in-person event will take place at the Heart Centre, Headingley, from 6.30 - 9.30pm.

Wednesday October 13

- Workshops for community hubs: This event is an online and in-person event. People can participate online via zoom but those able to can join in person at he St George's Centre. It takes place between 4.30pm and 8pm.

Thursday October 14

- Meet the movement with Green Drinks Leeds: This is an online event taking place between 12 to 2pm.

- Virtual Citizen Discussion on Climate Policies in the North: This is an online Zoom event taking place between 7 and 8pm.

Saturday October 16

- Let's assemble: This is an in-person event taking place on Chapeltown Road, Chapeltown. From 10am there will be talks, music, marching, interactive stalls and fun for all the family! The Sikh Temple on Chapeltown Road will also be hosting a communal meal at 12pm.