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Climate change - what we do

Information about what we are doing to reduce the causes of, and manage the risks associated with, climate change.

What is the council doing to mitigate and adapt to climate change?

Local authorities have a key role to play in responding to the climate emergency. Whilst local authorities in the UK are, on average, directly responsible for only 2-5% of local emissions, they can influence up to a third of emissions through the services they deliver, their role as a community leader, major employer, large-scale procurer, and so on. 

East Riding of Yorkshire Council is committed to achieving net zero through reducing its own carbon emissions across council operations, and by working with communities and organisations to influence behaviours and ambitions on climate change across the county.

Following the declaration of a climate emergency in February 2021, we are currently in the process of developing a Climate Change Strategy for the East Riding which will explore opportunities for reducing carbon emissions and examine how we can mitigate and adapt to climatic changes across the wider East Riding area. 

Responding to climate change involves two approaches:

  • Mitigation - reducing our carbon emissions in an attempt to lessen the extent of climate change
  • Adaptation - becoming better prepared for, and more resilient to the impacts of, a changing climate.

The evolving Climate Change Strategy will build on the council’s successes in environmental management and emission reduction, which have been driven by the authority’s Environmental Policy.

Environmental Policy Summary (Sept 2020) (pdf 1.4mb)

What carbon reduction initiatives have the council undertaken?

Over the previous decade, we have undertaken an array of carbon reduction initiatives, significantly reducing the authority’s carbon footprint, and reducing emissions across the East Riding. These initiatives have included:

  • installation of photovoltaic panels (PVs) on buildings, leisure centres, offices, and social housing across the East Riding.
  • lighting improvement schemes, including the replacement of inefficient lighting with LED lights for our street lighting and across council sites. 
  • installation of electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure across East Riding – by the end of 2021, the council will have installed over 30 charging points.
  • the rollout of seven new zero-emissions electric vans and one electric minibus for the council to use in delivering its services.
  • installation of a solar farm at the council’s South Cliff Holiday Park, in Bridlington.
  • securing funding towards installing low carbon heating and making improvements to energy efficiency for a limited number of housing – so far the council has helped install over 450 air source heat pumps across social housing in the East Riding.
  • with the support of East Riding residents, we have been able to recycle, reuse, or compost 64.8% of all household waste in 2018/19, thereby diverting this waste away from landfill. Residents have now helped the council become the country’s number one recycler for three years in a row.

    (all figures correct as of December 2021)

How has the council engaged with the community on climate change?

As an authority we value engaging with and listening to residents and organisations, including on the subject of climate change, as we understand that it is only by working together that we can achieve our climate and ecological ambitions and targets. For instance, we have:

  • invited the public to share their opinions on climate change through an interactive online questionnaire, with the responses helping to form the evolving Climate Change Strategy for the East Riding.
  • helped lead a seminar in October 2021 at the Hull and East Yorkshire 'Road to Net Zero' event, affiliated with COP26, on the important role that nature has to play in combating climate change.
  • presented and held discussions with residents on sustainability, at local events in the East Riding, as part of the national Great Big Green Week, in September 2021.
  • helped fund and support 18 local projects throughout 2020 that were designed to improve local communities for people and wildlife, by linking with the Government’s Year of Green Action. These projects have helped plant trees, create new wildlife areas, and engaged more school children and young adults in environmental areas. 

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