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Net Zero Yorkshire and Humber

March 2021 by Emma Richards

Photo by Different Resonance on Unsplash

March saw a focus on the Yorkshire and Humber region and its journey to net zero, with a number of key events that The Carbon Literacy Project was either involved in or attended. Most notable of these were the back-to-back launch events of the Yorkshire & Humber Climate Commission and Speak Carbon Yorkshire.

The Yorkshire & Humber Climate Commission, on which one of our team sits, held its public launch on the evening of the 17th March. The Commission is an ‘independent advisory body set up to bring actors from the public, private and third sectors together to support and guide ambitious climate actions across the region’.

The following day, Speak Carbon got together representatives of the Climate Action community across Yorkshire, along with their network of trainers, representatives of The Carbon Literacy Project, Zero Carbon Britain and others, for a launch event to celebrate the creation of the initiative and to talk about the roadmap to a Net Zero Yorkshire.

We take a quick look at each initiative below, with a view to helping catalyse further climate action within the region.

Yorkshire & Humber Climate Commission

The largest regional Commission of its kind in the UK, the ‘Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission brings together a team of climate leaders from across the public, private and third sectors.’

Climate commissions are vital in helping us to tackle the climate crisis through collective action across sectors and in communities… We are hopeful that it can be the most impactful by improving people’s lives throughout Yorkshire and Humber and ensuring a liveable future for us all.”
– Professor Andy Gouldson, Director of the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission

We have much to do and will need to work quickly to ensure that Yorkshire has a well developed and coordinated action plan to respond to the changes in our climate which are having such a dramatic effect. It is however not just about speed, it is really important that we work in an inclusive way to ensure that we engage a real cross-section of Yorkshire and the Humber and bring people along with us. Working alongside the climate leaders on the Commission, our work panels will enable us to involve a huge range of people with different perspectives and opinions.”
– Liz Barber, Chair of the Yorkshire and Humber Climate Commission and CEO of Yorkshire Water

The climate emergency will be experienced by everyone, but as an industrial powerhouse with a glorious natural environment, Yorkshire and the Humber’s leadership in managing climate change could and should be a beacon to the rest of the world.
– Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency

A recording of the launch event can be found here.

If you’re a Yorkshire and Humber based organisation contributing towards the region’s drive to net zero, you can share your story here.


Speak Carbon Yorkshire

Speak Carbon are a group of Carbon Literacy trainers from different sectors, who have joined together to share a collaborative platform to promote Carbon Literacy training across Yorkshire.

Carbon Literacy is a days’ worth of training that provides the knowledge and capacity to create a positive shift in how we live, work and behave in response to climate change.

The UK Climate Change Commission’s research findings are that behaviour change is crucial for adopting the technologies which will stabilise the climate.  Behaviour change starts with education and sustainability awareness.

Action on climate change is something that should be done with us rather than done to us. Carbon Literacy is a training framework for the mobilisation of people.”
– Phil Korbel, Director of Advocacy with The Carbon Literacy Project

The ambition of Speak Carbon is to deliver Carbon Literacy and trainer skills courses, at scale, across Yorkshire – in an effort to become the UK’s first Carbon Literate County.

“Trainers are in shorter supply across the country, with demand outstripping training capacity, so it’s necessary to bridge that growing gap for CL training. Train the Trainer provides the confidence and tools to train others in line with the CL Standard.
– Ned Gatenby, Carbon Literacy Trainer with Speak Carbon

“Speak Carbon is turning climate intention into climate action. You can join the movement by:

  • learning to speak or teach ‘carbon’
  • engaging your community or organisation
  • helping to build a Carbon Literate Yorkshire and Humber”

– Pete Watkins, Founder and Carbon Literacy trainer at Speak Carbon

If you’re interested in getting involved, you can contact pete@speakcarbon.earth

You can find upcoming Speak Carbon – Carbon Literacy courses here


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