West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin vows to "champion" region at COP26 during climate change rally

West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin vowed to "champion" the region at COP26 and called on leaders from across the world "to step up" in addressing climate change issues.

Saturday, 6th November 2021, 3:10 pm
Updated Saturday, 6th November 2021, 3:10 pm

Speaking at a climate change rally in Millennium Square on Saturday afternoon prior to her expected attendance at the summit, Mayor Brabin said the Glasgow event "must be remembered as the summit of climate delivery, not climate delay".

The event was one of a host across the country, with thousands lining the streets of Leeds to demand action.

The COP26 Coalition is a global coalition of civil society groups, organised in Glasgow by TUC Scotland and Friends of the Earth Scotland.

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The Mayor was speaking at a rally in Millennium Square. Pic: JPI

The West Yorkshire hub has members from every West Yorkshire District, from Trade Unions and Trades Councils, the Friends of the Earth Network, XR groups, Our Future Leeds, Just Transition Wakefield and more.

On November 6, the groups gathered at noon to "demand action from global leaders" and to "ensure that people and the planet are protected".

Thousands of activists joined together in Millennium Square to chant for change and make their voices heard.

Children holding banners and painting placards joined in with the protest alongside their parents, while stalls for different groups showcased what is being done for climate change in the West Yorkshire region.

The Mayor was speaking at a rally in Millennium Square. Pic: JPI

In her speech to a crowd of hundreds, Mayor Brabin said "we need COP to succeed".

"But if we want to stop the world warming, then we need more than warm words", Mayor Brabin said.

"We need action, leaders across the world need to step up.

"Glasgow must be remembered as the summit of climate delivery, not climate delay.

The Mayor was speaking at a rally in Millennium Square. Pic: JPI

"We know all of our futures depend on it.

"I will be your champion, making that case in Glasgow for West Yorkshire."

Activists marched up to Millennium Square shortly before lunchtime to listen to the talks.

Addressing climate change issues, Mayor Brabin said it was now time to "take our destiny into our hands".

She said more than £60million had been spent to "lead the way in tech" and "leadership" on carbon emissions, congestion and air quality in the county.

Speaking during her speech, Mayor Brabin added that it was a national scandal that in West Yorkshire one in 20 people die due to poor air quality.

"This is not the West Yorkshire I want to represent, or for our children to inherit", Mayor Brabin said.

The Yorkshire Evening Post spoke to Mayor Brabin prior to her speech to question how she is looking to implement her changes in Leeds specifically.

“It’s an emergency and I’ve put things in place,” she said.

“We’ve got our carbon reduction plan, we’re working really hard planning retrofitting homes, trying to get a green bus service.

"We’re hoping the government is going to come with us on that journey - get more people out of their cars, more people walking and cycling.

"It’s a big job but we have to do it for the planet - and also for the skills and jobs.”

“This matters.

"It’s across generations, across families, its individuals its businesses its education. We all need to pull together to do this.

"The government obviously have to lead, but they can be persuaded by people on the ground like us.”

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