Leeds has joined 26 European cities in signing a climate pledge that underlines the leading roles cities are taking in fighting climate change.
The city climate pledges, which were organised by the major European network EUROCITIES, were presented this week to Clara de la Torre, Deputy Director General for DG Clima, the EU department tasked with tackling climate change.
It is hoped the pledges will encourage the EU and national governments to take a more active role in fighting climate change. Cities across Europe play a central role in delivering climate action by developing and implementing local plans and by actively engaging citizens and businesses.
In the pledge Leeds has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2030 and reaching net zero emissions by 2050, although it is hoped that Leeds will achieve this target by a much earlier date. The pledge was signed by a total of 27 European cities including Barcelona, Prague and Stockholm.
Climate change is high on the agenda for the city, with Leeds City Council announcing a climate emergency in March 2019. The Council is leading on a number of initiatives to reduce carbon emissions across the city including a clean air zone and the extension of the District Heating Network.
Leeds’ participative approach to climate change has also been featured in the EUROCITIES #100DaysEU campaign which looked at how Leeds created a Climate Change Citizens Jury to ensure residents’ voices were heard.