Climate emergency and green economy

Backing Action on Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development Goals

Ensuring a strong, healthy and fair society, living within environmental limits, achieving a sustainable economy and using sound science responsibly will be the principles at the heart of the recovery from the current corona virus emergency. These principles also underpin the Sustainable Development Action Plan agreed by the Council’s Executive at its meeting on 24 March.

The plan sets out a package of measures to help tackle climate change while building a sustainable and prosperous economy that works in the interests of everyone and minimises waste and the use of finite natural resources.  The proposed measures are in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and will cut carbon and costs, help to reduce household bills through better energy efficiency, improve health and well being and generate new jobs and sustainable economic growth through investment in a green economy. Research undertaken by Leeds City Region suggests that clean growth could add £11bn to the city region economy and create 100,000 extra skilled jobs for local people.

The Sustainable Development Action Plan builds on local assets and activity including priority projects identified when the Council declared a Climate Emergency in 2019:

  • Reducing the energy used for street lighting
  • Delivering a district heat network, with the potential for saving on Council and partner heating costs.
  • Expanding the network of electric vehicle (EV) charging points and numbers of EV vehicles.
  • Increasing renewable energy and electricity generation on the Council estate.
  • Embracing the opportunities offered by hydrogen.

Bradford has since joined the Leeds City Region Climate Coalition which is aiming for a net zero carbon region by 2038. Achieving this goal requires leadership and action across all sectors and in all walks of life. The Action Plan will establish a new Sustainable Development Partnership to lead and co-ordinate strategic policy and direction across organisations and sectors. Dr Stewart Davies has agreed to chair the Partnership. Dr Davies is Chief Executive of Xiros Ltd, and has chaired and been a member of a number of environmental organisations, including the UK Sustainable Development Commission.

You can find the plan in the document section of this page. For more information, view the Executive report.

Declaring a Climate Emergency 

Bradford Council passed a motion in January 2019 to declare a climate emergency and commit to a green economy.

The 'Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C', published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October 2018:

  1. describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared with a 1.5°C rise
  2. confirms that limiting global warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society and the private sector. 

This is indeed a climate emergency.

Since passing our own January 2010 energy procurement motion with all-party support, we have made great steps in reducing our own carbon emissions and have exceeded our aims of achieving a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2020.  We must go further faster.

What we are doing

We are focusing on five priorities which will help people reduce their fuel bills, create jobs, and tackle climate change:

  • reduce the energy used in street lighting, saving emissions and also saving us money in energy bills
  • set up a District Heat network to save on heating costs of the council estate (our property and land) and of partner organisations in the civic quarter
  • embrace the opportunities provided by the H21 Leeds City Region scheme
  • increase the proportion of EV (Electric Vehicle) hybrid vehicles used in our fleet and support the roll out of EV charging points across the district to help promote uptake of electric vehicle use
  • increase the amount of renewable energy and electricity generation across the council estate

You can read the January 2019 decision on our local democracy website.

Latest news 

Bradford Council is to invest an extra £1m revenue funding over the next year as part of approximately £25m of new investments to tackle climate change across the district.

The investment plan is outlined in the authority’s annual budget will go to Bradford Council's Executive on 2 January 2020 and be finalised on 20 February. 

Regeneration and Environment Overview and Scrutiny report Climate and Environment Update is being presented on 12 February with a dedicated Executive report scheduled for late March.

What you can do