Climate Action Plan for the new Mayor of York and North Yorkshire

Mayoral elections are happening this May. Find out our top 10 priorities for the new Mayor and download our Climate Action Plan for York and North Yorkshire.

29 Feb 2024


What can the new Mayor do for people and planet?

We're facing a climate and ecological emergency – the biggest threat we’ve ever seen to humanity’s existence. Whoever is elected as the new Mayor of York and North Yorkshire can’t single-handedly solve the crisis, but they must use the powers they have to make as big a difference as possible. They have a very important role to play in providing a guiding vision for the area, and will need to work with councils, businesses, local communities and the national government.

York City Council has a Climate Change Strategy and a Climate Action Plan, with an ambitious target to be a net-zero and climate-resilient city by 2030. However, the council didn’t score well in Climate Emergency UK’s Council Climate Action Scorecards, which assessed all UK councils on the actions they've taken towards net zero, although it showed progress in some areas such as heating and buildings. North Yorkshire Council published a Climate Change Strategy in July 2023, but as a newly formed council its actions haven’t been assessed in the scorecards. In addition, the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which will now be integrated into the new Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA), has its own Routemap to Carbon Negative and has made some progress on the development of circular economy principles for towns in the area. This Climate Action Plan will help the new Mayor accelerate action using the devolved powers and funding granted to them.

How green is York and North Yorkshire?

10 priorities for the new Mayor

  1. Ensure all plans, programmes and investment decisions are in line with what’s needed to address the climate and ecological emergency and are aligned with international, national, regional and local carbon reduction targets.
  2. Ensure that the voices of those most impacted by climate breakdown and nature loss are heard and given centre-stage in decision making.
  3. Invest in and promote new green jobs, and actively facilitate the greening of existing jobs. Protect workers and communities through a just transition to a low-carbon, nature-rich, circular economy, including linking skills training to low-carbon jobs.
  4. Ensure new housing is zero carbon and served by sustainable transport using their influence on constituent local planning authorities. Use brownfield regeneration and affordable housing funding to deliver zero-carbon homes in locations accessible by public transport and active travel.
  5. Take a leading role in bringing existing homes in the area up to high energy efficiency standards to reduce emissions and put an end to fuel poverty. Ensure that existing homes are protected from extreme weather events. 
  6. Set targets to at least double public transport use, cycling and walking within the next 10 years. Step up action to meet these targets, including investing in the right infrastructure and working with operators to ensure that public transport services are reliable, affordable and better connected. Support the use of local speed limits that promote the growth of active travel.
  7. Lead the development, co-ordination and implementation of Local Area Energy Plans (LAEPs) to increase the supply of clean, renewable energy, including supporting community energy initiatives, accelerating the roll-out of heat pumps and encouraging the development of low-carbon district heat networks.
  8. Produce a Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS) that increases tree cover, protects and enhances nature, stores more carbon in the natural environment, eliminates green space deprivation, and helps the area become more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
  9. Lead the continued development of a circular economy strategy for the region with local businesses and local authorities to both cut waste and resource consumption and boost the green economy.
  10. Work with landowners, communities and businesses to promote and deliver the sustainable use of land in York and North Yorkshire.
Climate Action