Leeds councillor calls for tree “revolution” to combat carbon emissions in city

Leeds needs a “tree-cover revolution” if it is to meet its ambitious carbon targets over the next decade.

That’s according to a senior Leeds councillor, who claims the city’s tree management is “under-resourced”, and has called for a dramatic increase in the number of trees that are planted in the city.

Stewart Golton wants Leeds to lead the way in tree planting.

Stewart Golton wants Leeds to lead the way in tree planting.

It follows Leeds being given targets to reduce its carbon emissions by 2030, along with the authority declaring a climate change emergency earlier this year.

Leader of Leeds City Council’s Liberal Democrats group Stewart Golton will put forward a motion, known as a white paper, to next week’s full council meeting calling on the authority to do more to help with tree coverage.

It reads: “This council notes that it declared a climate change emergency this year with a commitment to make the city of Leeds carbon neutral by 2030.

“This council also notes the recent report from the committee on climate change which calls for doubling the current number of trees planted annually in the UK in order to achieve the Government’s target to be carbon neutral by 2050.

“The desire for carbon offsetting will also see further demand for tree planting and maintenance. This council therefore regrets the current under-resourced state of the council’s tree management section, which is unable to respond to current demand, let alone deliver a future Leeds treecover revolution.

“Council therefore calls upon the executive member(s) responsible for climate change and the environment to commission a report to be published by December this year to identify the land, resources and training needed to respond to deliver our city’s target for achieving sufficient treecover to deliver a carbon neutral city by 2030.”

Councillors will vote on whether to adopt the motion at the meeting on Wednesday, September 11.