Progress on climate action

Wakefield Council’s Climate Change Action Plan is split into six work streams, covering actions the Council will take to reduce our own emissions and how we can support and encourage the district to do the same.

By taking forward innovative projects, using new, green technologies, and leading by example, we want to make it easier for our residents, businesses and schools to make zero or low carbon choices.

Building a greener Wakefield district is set as one of the council’s strategic priorities in our plan for 2022-24. We’ve said we will reduce our carbon emissions, help residents and businesses do so as well, and develop renewable energy sources.

So what have we done so far?

We're taking forward our commitments to be a carbon neutral council by 2030 and help the district get there by 2038. There's still much more to do, but now we have a far greater understanding of how we can reach our targets and we remain determined to succeed.

So far we have:

  • established a dedicated climate change team
  • made climate change a core council function and created the Climate change Action Plan, which was approved by cabinet in September 2020
  • invested nearly £6m on replacing some of the Council’s petrol and diesel vehicles with electric cars and vans. We’re trialling an electric bin wagon and we’ve published an electric vehicle infrastructure strategy
  • nearly completed a three-year scheme to replace nearly 45,000 streetlights lanterns with LEDs. It will reduce energy consumption from street lighting by 80% and lower carbon emissions by 65%
  • planted nearly 100,000 trees through our partnership with the White Rose Forest. The trees will capture carbon and offset any residual emissions we cannot eliminate
  • commissioned and published a report by low carbon energy experts, Pathway to Net Zero which sets out how the district can become carbon neutral by 2038
  • begun looking at building solar parks – they could provide renewable energy, enhance biodiversity, offer training and provide new, green jobs. We’re also looking at district heating schemes using waste heat from industry or mine water
  • declared a biodiversity emergency and ecological crisis, and we're changing the way we look after parks, green spaces and countryside to put nature first
  • built a state-of-the-art recycling facility, which means more than half of the district’s waste is recycled. Just 8.5% is sent to landfill, with the remainder used to generate energy at Ferrybridge Power Station
  • been working with schools on climate education and decarbonising their buildings
  • included climate and biodiversity considerations in all council projects and planning applications, in line with the Environment Act 2021
  • provided training to council employees in reducing their carbon footprint
  • published an annual report checking the progress made on the emissions targets set out in the Climate Change Action Plan
  • hosted an award-winning, immersive exhibition on the climate crisis, and our Museums and Castles team have their own environmental action plan

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