Representatives from organisations across South Yorkshire have met for the first time to agree a region-wide approach to tackling the Climate Emergency.
Mayor Dan Jarvis convened the gathering at the University of Sheffield’s Factory 2050 to discuss how leading organisations in the region will work together to tackle climate change. This follows the Mayoral Combined Authority’s declaration of a Climate Emergency at its meeting in November 2019.
Those attending the meeting included Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central; Lord David Blunkett; councillors from the region’s four councils; Anne Gibbs, Director of Strategy and Planning at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield; Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University; academics from the region’s two universities, trade union representatives, and representatives from South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner’s office.
Mayor Jarvis said: “We are in the midst of a Climate Emergency – and we must act now.
“Hundreds of people across our region are still facing disruption caused by recent flooding while, globally, millions of people have been displaced by fires and entire countries are facing the prospect of drought because of rising temperatures.
“We know we don’t yet have all the answers. But by working together, we are far more than the sum of our parts.
“I’m pleased that the meeting was so productive and that we are all prepared to work together, and quickly, to progress South Yorkshire’s response to the Climate Emergency.”
During the session, the group discussed how they would take the lead in the region-wide response to the Climate Emergency.
Academics from the University of Sheffield showcased how South Yorkshire could achieve net zero carbon emissions whilst continuing to grow its economy. In particular, growing the low carbon sector – which includes the production of batteries and using hydrogen as a clean energy source – was identified as a key opportunity for our region.
Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “As a large research-intensive university, we are in a unique and powerful position to help tackle climate change and make a positive impact on the world we live in.
“Our researchers are committed to finding innovative solutions to the challenges we face and sharing their expertise to improve the lives of people in our region, as well as across the globe.
“We are looking forward to taking a leading role and working with partners in the Sheffield City Region to develop a science-led response to one of the most formidable challenges facing society today.”
Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Sheffield Hallam University is at the forefront of developing practical solutions to the key challenges of the 21st century.
“As one of the UK’s largest and most diverse universities, we will mobilise our research expertise and industry partnerships to develop innovative practices, products and policies to help mitigate the risk of climate change.”