Zero Carbon Yorkshire came into being at the launch event in Leeds Civic Hall in February 2016 – however it has taken a considerable length of time to build the capacity to bring it to full operation.
After initially operating as a project of Schumacher North, an acting group of trustees was formed in late 2016, and ZCY was registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee with 6 directors, representing a range of organisations, in April 2017.
A Strategy Workshop held at Ebor Court in June was attended by over 30 people from a wide range of backgrounds across private, public, academic and activist sectors, and outputs from this informed the development of a successful funding bid to the Seedbed Enterprise Fund; this grant of £10,000 has supported the work so far, which includes:
Preparatory work towards in-depth engagement with two communities to help them develop plans to reduce their carbon footprint;
Staging a weekend intensive conference / workshop, Zero Carbon Yorkshire – Making it Happen, in collaboration with the Zero Carbon Britain team from the Centre for Alternative Technology, to develop strategies to bring about Zero Carbon Yorkshire;
Carrying out consultancy work to develop a Zero Carbon Plan for Leeds Church Institute, as a pilot for further Zero Carbon Consultancy work, initially with other faith organisations but aiming to extend this to all sectors;
Participating in the Leeds Climate Commission, as a contributor to the Communications and Engagement Panel, and leading on plans for a Climate Forum for faith communities;
Developing a website and Wiki for dissemination of information about the activities of ZCY and other climate-related initiatives across the region;
Producing a regular e-newsletter with information about ZCY’s activities and regional climate change news;Ongoing liaison with kindred organisations around the Yorkshire region, including One Planet York, Sheffield Climate Alliance, Zero Carbon Harrogate, Fossil Free West Yorkshire, etc.;
Preliminary work towards setting up ZCY Forums (or other appropriate vehicles) to bring together key individuals in the local government, business, and University sectors.
Plans for the remainder of this year will focus on:
Development of the sectoral forums as mentioned above, with emphasis on: widening engagement of the business sector; influencing local government policy and strategy such as the Leeds City Region Clean Energy Strategy; and collaboration with university research teams to provide the informational base on which to develop a regional Zero Carbon Strategy.
Building towards a launch of one or both of the Community Engagement programmes, including developing a team of Community Facilitators to continue this work;
A major event in the Autumn as a follow-up to the ‘Making it Happen’ conference;Securing longer term funding to ensure ZCY’s sustainability and continued impact.