South Yorkshire needs £200 million to become carbon neutral, says Mayor

Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis has says the region needs £200 million worth of investment in order to become carbon neutral.

Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 7:00 am

The mayor has outlined a raft of proposals, including a ‘short-term plan’ for £200 million in green investment over the next 18 months to accelerate the transition to net zero carbon emissions in turn to ‘create jobs and improve quality of life’ in South Yorkshire in the wake of the pandemic.

Some of the main priorities in the plan include: retrofitting buildings to make homes and businesses more energy efficient; supporting green energy projects, including solar, hydrogen, and heat pumps and natural flood prevention works, including tree-planting, to protect communities and improve neighbourhoods and habitats for wildlife

Mayor Dan Jarvis said: “Climate change is the biggest threat we face. We need action and investment from the Government which matches the scale and urgency of the monumental challenge before us.

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Mayor of the Sheffield City Region Dan Jarvis. Picture: Chris Etchells

“In South Yorkshire, we’re working for a greener region and a greener nation, and have ambitions to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 at the latest, ten years ahead of the Government’s own target.

“However, to accelerate our transition and deliver the radical action needed, we need the Government to match our ambition and deliver a Green New Deal for the country.

Other plans include a £40 million carbon challenge fund which aims to encourage private sector investment in the region’s low-carbon industries. There are also plans to invest £53 million in active travel and low-traffic neighbourhoods to kickstart the building of a network of more than 1000km of cycling and walking routes.

The mayoral combined authority, where each of the four South Yorkshire councils are members, set a carbon zero emissions target by 2040 after declaring a climate emergency.

Mayor Jarvis added: “The Covid-19 economic crisis should be a moment for transformational investment to tackle our deepest underlying problems. So far, we’ve not seen that level of ambition from Government. As the climate crisis accelerates around us, this is a precious chance to change course – but I fear they are going to fall short.

“I firmly believe that the extraordinary investment now needed to support the economy in the face of Covid-19 must help transform our economy as part of a Green New Deal, both creating jobs and tackling the enormous threat of climate change.”

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