COUNCILLORS in York have been raising awareness of the need to reduce the city’s carbon footprint by flying a flag bearing the Yorkshire climate change stripes for Zero Emissions Day.
The climate stripes were developed to show people how the climate is changing where they live. Shades of blue indicate cooler-than-average years, while red shows years that were hotter-than-average. The Yorkshire climate stripes, shown on the flag in York, highlight the increase in temperature in Yorkshire over the past 150 years.
In March 2019, City of York Council declared a climate emergency and pledged to be net zero by 2030. It is 2,294 days until the 31 December 2029 and the council said it is over a third of the way there – and "every action towards reducing emissions counts".
The council has contributed to reducing the city’s emissions through a range of actions including planting over 85,000 trees in the York Community Woodland, rolling out a new electric bus fleet with First Bus, supporting installation of new solar PV on schools with its partner Solar for Schools and decarbonising council owned buildings and creating zero carbon housing solutions.
Councillor Kate Ravilious, joint executive member for environment and climate emergency at City of York Council, said: “We can only reach net zero if we work together. Our relaunch of the York Climate Commission – planned for later this year – will provide the platform for businesses and organisations across the city to support each other on the journey to net zero.”
This month, the council has also signed the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Action Pledge and the authority is encouraging stakeholders across the city to do the same.
Councillor Jenny Kent, also joint executive member for environment and climate emergency at the council, said: “We all have a part to play in reducing greenhouse emissions.
“Every change, however small, will help protect our environment and lessen the severity of extreme weather events. Together, we can rise to the challenge, sharing ideas and solutions to cut carbon and protect the environment – creating a cleaner and greener city for future generations.”
The climate change flag has been flown over the weekend, but was taken down temporarily on Thursday (September 21) during the funeral of the former Lord Mayor, when the York flag was flown at half-mast.
Last week it was announced that the Government has delayed the ban on new petrol and diesel cars in a change to its approach to achieving net zero by 2050. The ban has been delayed by five years.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced delays to numerous key green policies, including a nine-year delay in the ban on new fossil fuel heating for off-gas-grid homes to 2035.