Climate change

Action today for our tomorrow

We declared a climate emergency in May 2019 because the impacts of climate change on our health, wellbeing and economy are being felt locally as well as worldwide.

Carbon emissions from human activities such as traveling and heating our homes are causing an overall warming of our planet bringing with it devastating impacts.

We've seen flooding locally as well as the devastating fires and flooding across the world.

Wakefield Council's Carbon footprint was equivalent to 35,000 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide in 2018 that's enough gas to fill 5 Wembley stadiums every year.

This comes from things like the oil and gas we use to heat our buildings, electricity used for lighting and equipment and emissions from the vehicles used to collect waste, grit the roads and carry out other essential services.

Since 2008 we've reduced our emissions by 15,000 tonnes per year by more efficient heating systems and installing LED lighting in buildings. 

Waste which we collect is recycled and we use the residual waste to generate energy at Ferrybridge Powers Station, saving over 18,000 tonnes of CO2. 

We have also planted over 16,000 trees in the district which all helps to tackle climate change.  But there's more to do….

Our 2030 carbon neutral pledge

We want to make Wakefield Council a carbon neutral organisation by 2030.  We are committed to taking the lead locally and will support the Wakefield district to achieve the same target.  

We have pledged to become a carbon neutral organisation by 2030 and our Climate Emergency Action Plan is being developed to help us achieve this and will include:

  • Reducing our demand for heat and power through simple changes of behaviour and practice.
  • Improving energy efficiency and installing low energy lighting in our buildings.
  • Investing over £21m in low energy LED street lighting.
  • Replacing fossil fuels boilers, heating and cooling systems with low Carbon alternatives.
  •  Replacing conventional diesel and petrol vehicles with low and zero emission alternative vehicles where possible.
  • Developing major schemes including renewable and low Carbon projects including solar panels on our buildings and land and developing local district heating schemes.
  • Planting more trees to off-set any residual CO2 emissions that we cannot completely eliminate.

We have started our journey to be a Carbon neutral organisation by 2030, but we will also work with our residents and businesses and other key partners to tackle greenhouse gas emissions across the district.  The challenge is significant, in 2017 over 1.9 million tonnes of greenhouse gases were emitted from transport, industry and homes – that’s enough to fill over 272 Wembley stadiums every year.

We can all play our part

A good first step is to find out what your own Carbon footprint is and the World Wildlife Fund web-site has a useful tool to help you calculate this: https://footprint.wwf.org.uk/#/

Know your Carbon Footprint and then Reduce, Switch and Act to play your part in limiting climate change.

Reduce

Understanding your energy consumption can help you understand how you are using energy and where you can start to be more energy efficient.  A Smart Meter can help you understand your energy use to help reduce energy consumption and save money: https://www.smartenergygb.org/   For ideas to help make your home more energy efficient visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/housing/energy

Reducing the journeys made by car and using public transport, walking and cycling can all make a difference to reduce your Carbon footprint – find out more at https://www.wymetro.com/more-ways-to-travel/

Walking is not only good for our planet, it’s great for physical and mental health.  Find out where you can enjoy the many green spaces and walking routes across the Wakefield district http://www.wakefield.gov.uk/sport-health-and-leisure/sport-and-activities/walking

As a society we have become increasingly dependent on convenience food, with increased food miles, packaging and food waste, all of which contributes to climate change. Taking simple steps to consider your food consumption habits can make a difference – for tips visit: https://www.wwf.org.uk/updates/food-and-climate-change

Switch

Switching to alternative and low emission transport can help to reduce Carbon emission.  We are developing a network of rapid chargers to support people to move to electric vehicles – find out where they are and how to use them at https://ev.engie.co.uk/. For more information about electric cars visit the Go Ultra Low web-site: https://www.goultralow.com/ 

You can also consider alternative low Carbon technology to heat and provide energy to your home, such as solar panels and heat pumps, which may also be eligible for payments under the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk 

Act

The time to act is now and steps taken by us all, both large and small, will make a difference for a cleaner, greener tomorrow.  This year we’ve worked with the Woodland Trust, community groups and volunteers and have planted over 16,000 trees this year to help offset carbon emissions.  

Help us: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/we-plant-trees/the-northern-forest/


Get Involved

Want to know more about getting involved on how to tackle the climate emergency please get in touch with us at climateaction@wakefield.gov.uk

Contact us

Environmental Health

Wakefield Council
Wakefield One
PO Box 700
Burton Street
Wakefield
WF1 2EB

0345 8 506 506