Leeds is a city of more than 750,000 people, with an economic output or Gross Value Added (GVA) of more than £21 billion and total annual expenditure on energy of £1.2 billion. It has a target of reducing its carbon emissions by 40% between 2005 and 2030. This target will depend on the adoption of hundreds of energy efficiency and low carbon options across the different sectors in the city.
Recent analysis for the Leeds Climate Commission has shown that these options could generate massive savings in energy use and carbon emissions in the city, whilst also leading to wider benefits including job creation, cleaner air, reduced energy poverty, and improved mobility. Analysis has found that by 2030 Leeds could save £277 million a year, or £348 a year for everyone in the city, if it exploited all of the profitable measures for energy efficiency and low carbon development. Doing this would also create 3,500 extra years of employment in the city by 2026 and 4,200 by 2030, whilst also cutting its carbon emissions for 22.7% on top of what is happening anyway.
Leeds Climate Commission will help to ensure that these opportunities are turned into reality. It will strengthen networks, build capacities, celebrate successes, transfer good practice and explore ways of raising the investments needed. It will offer independent advice on different options, track progress over time, and seek to change policy and practice to ensure that Leeds’ potential in this area is realised.
Image: River Aire at Granary Wharf, Leeds (Tim Lumley, Unsplash)