Shining a light on climate change

Councillor Roger Harington and Jenny Brierley talking to tenants of Hawthorn Mill about the Leeds Climate Change Strategy

Solar panels on the roof of Hawthorn Mill

Residents at a sheltered housing complex in Leeds are the latest people to benefit from the city’s plans to go green.

Solar panels on the roof of the Lower Wortley homes are generating electricity to power the communal areas of the Connect Housing-run complex.

Representing the Leeds Housing Forum on the city’s climate change partnership, Connect Housing knew that the renewable technology would help cut harmful carbon emissions while slashing electricity bills, therefore reducing service charges for 33 residents.

In a bid to cut their own emissions and save money, Connect Housing have also installed solar panels on the roof of their offices in Roundhay Road. The panels are tangible proof that members of Leeds’ climate change partnership are committed to turning the vision of a cleaner, greener city into a reality.

The partnership has recently published an updated version of its climate change strategy. The strategy explains what member organisations will do to stop harmful carbon emissions being released into the atmosphere and help Leeds adapt to conditions a changing climate will bring.

The revised strategy reflects new targets, priorities and the progress made since it was launched in July 2009. Action taken so far means that the city is ahead of schedule to meet carbon reduction targets.

Councillor Roger Harington, chair of the Leeds climate change partnership, said:

“The revised strategy isn’t just a document that sits on the shelf – it represents a wide range of projects being driven by businesses, community groups, voluntary organisations, universities and individuals across the city.

“Connect Housing, along with other partnership members, are proving what organisations can do to reduce their environmental impact and what they can do to help others do the same.

“It’s only with this kind of joint working that we’ll be able to tackle climate change effectively. While we’re pleased that emissions are reducing, we need to continue to improve to become a truly sustainable city.”

Jenny Brierley, chief executive of Connect Housing, said:

“Keeping utility bills down for tenants is a high priority for Connect, especially when household budgets are so stretched. Making homes more energy efficient, giving good energy saving advice and adding solar power all help to reduce the bills, as well as the carbon emissions. Tackling climate change and saving money at the same time wins all round.”

Harmful carbon dioxide emissions fell by 14.4% between 2005 and 2009 and if emissions continue to fall at the same rate, the city will be on track to cut emissions by 40% by 2020.

The ‘Leeds Climate Change Strategy: Making the change 2012 to 2015’ can be read at www.climateleeds.org.

Notes to editors:

Members of the Leeds climate change partnership are:


CO2 Sense

Environment Agency

Environment Forum VCFS

Federation of Small Businesses

Friends of the Earth

Groundwork Leeds

Leeds City College

Leeds City Council

Leeds Housing Forum

Leeds Initiative

Leeds Metropolitan University

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust

Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce

Local Government Yorkshire and Humber


NHS Leeds

Sustainable Resource Solutions Ltd

University of Leeds

For media enquiries please contact:

Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577

email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk