Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, and Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council, have been unveiled as the first-ever Co-presidents of the UK’s only network of climate ambitious local and regional leaders.
All UK100 members sign a pledge, committing their authorities to “recognise their responsibility for tackling the climate emergency and take bold action towards net zero”.
Appointed for their commitment to local and regional net zero leadership, Tracy and Richard will represent UK100 on the national stage and embed the diversity of their political insight and experience into the network’s long-term strategy to support ambitious, local climate action across the UK.
The appointment comes as UK100 also announces plans for its flagship Net Zero summit, to be hosted jointly with Tracy Brabin and the West Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority in Leeds in July. The summit aims to bring together local, regional and national leaders to identify how local authorities can work together, and with the Government, to turn “Declaration into Delivery” on a locally-led net zero transition that works for people and planet.
Tracy Brabin said: “I am delighted that UK100 has chosen West Yorkshire as the location for this prestigious summit and honoured that they have selected me as their Co-president.
“We have an incredibly ambitious plan for a just transition to a net zero economy across West Yorkshire by 2038. And UK100 opting to host this summit in Leeds, in partnership with the West Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, is a reflection of the region’s leadership on climate action.”
Previous UK100 summits have brought together leaders and experts, including Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, Lord Deben, Chair of the Climate Change Committee, Alok Sharma MP, President of COP 26, Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands.
Tracy continued: “Following COP 26, we have an opportunity to powerfully demonstrate that, as the local and regional leaders who will play such a vital role in delivering a net zero future, we are committed to turning words into action.
“We aim to make West Yorkshire the jobs and skills engine that drives the green industrial revolution in the UK. We will join our equally ambitious counterparts from across the country to showcase how we’re turning those plans into action.
“It’s Green up north!”
Cllr Richard Clewer, who will also join Tracy at the summit in July, said: “I’m thrilled to join Tracy as the first-ever UK100 Co-presidents, and I look forward to working with colleagues up and down the country to ensure that rural voices are heard in the fight against climate change.
“Rural areas have different strengths and face different challenges than urban areas. As one of my first duties as Co-president, I will be attending the summit in Leeds as a passionate advocate for rural communities and the support we need to deliver an ambitious net zero agenda.”
Polly Billington, Chief Executive of UK100, commented: “Tracy and Richard have demonstrated consistent and formidable net zero leadership allied with a dogged commitment to delivering for their communities. We are delighted to welcome them as our first-ever Co-presidents.
“The ambition and active involvement of local leaders across the country is central to the UK reaching its net zero targets, ensuring the job opportunities and economic benefits come to their communities.”
Polly, who will co-host the summit in July alongside Tracy, added: “West Yorkshire is a great location as the focus for our summit. The region has taken the lead on climate issues ranging from renewable energy to energy efficiency. The summit is an opportunity to showcase the leadership of local and regional authorities across the UK, but also a chance to identify what else must be done to turn net zero plans into actions. We’re looking forward to working with the West Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority to make the event a success.”
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