A new local authority is asking residents to help shape its wide-ranging plan to tackle climate change and to build on work to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The new North Yorkshire Council, which launches on April 1 in one of the biggest changes to local democracy in the area for nearly 50 years, has launched a consultation for residents, businesses and community groups to provide feedback to help shape the new authority's climate change strategy.

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People in the new authority's area are being asked for their thoughts on the council's draft climate change document, as well as to highlight measures that they've already taken to combat climate change such as using electric vehicles, increasing recycling and adopting renewable energy sources.

They are also being urged to pinpoint issues that are preventing them from taking further action, such as the cost of adopting environmentally-friendly measures, a lack of time to change their lifestyles and whether they are waiting for new technology to evolve.

The new North Yorkshire Council has agreed with York Council to become the first 'carbon negative' area of the UK, and its climate change strategy will be key to this aim. A goal which was approved by the councils in January.

The routemap for the region to become carbon negative by 2040 has been spearheaded by the York and North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership and has involved all eight councils in the county along with the National Park authorities for the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors.

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North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for climate change, Cllr Greg White, said: “The need to tackle climate change will be at the forefront of the new council’s policies, and we recognise that this is the biggest challenge that we face both in North Yorkshire and as a country as a whole.

“The engagement with the public will be a key exercise to help ensure that we can prioritise the work that will be undertaken to reduce carbon emissions and help curb the impact of changes in our climate.

The Northern Echo: Cllr Greg White.Cllr Greg White. (Image: NYCC)

“I would ask everyone in North Yorkshire to take the opportunity to express their views, as climate change is an issue that affects all of us, no matter what walk of life we are in.

“We will listen to the views of the public, which will form an important part of how the new council develops its policies and works to reduce the impact of climate change.”

The public engagement will be conducted over eight weeks until April 7 and the consultation will be available online as well as in libraries.

A series of online events are being organised to help people to access information. Two online events will be held on March 9, one in the afternoon with voluntary and community groups in partnership with Community First Yorkshire and then another with residents and businesses in the evening of the same day.

Other proposed measures to ensure that North Yorkshire Council achieves an ambition of reaching carbon net zero by 2030 include reducing energy demand and an increasing focus on low carbon energy such as solar power as an alternative to fossil fuels.


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North Yorkshire County Council and the seven district and borough authorities will merge from April 1 to pave the way for a devolution deal, which is set to transfer decision-making powers and millions of pounds of funding from Westminster to local political leaders.

Details of the public engagement on the draft climate strategy can be found at https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/climatechangestrategy