Zero Carbon Harrogate (ZCH) brings together a group of residents from the Harrogate District from many walks of life in order to support the development of a low carbon sustainable economy, which will improve the quality of life for Harrogate District residents.
We are professionals, business owners, academics, parents and community leaders, a positive team of environmentally responsible individuals who want to make a change for the benefit of our beautiful community both for now and for years to come.
A Global Problem with Local Solutions
The Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 saw 195 countries commit to reducing carbon emissions but reducing these emissions is not just the responsibility of governments, it belongs to each and every one of us.
Harrogate Borough Council has already adopted a climate change strategy which aims to cut the District’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 40% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. They have also prepared a draft Carbon Reduction Strategy for public consultation, to which ZCH has responded.
That’s a good start but local community action is now required to bring about the necessary transformation to a new global low carbon economy.
What Can ZCH Do?
ZCH is bringing together local businesses, community groups, individuals and our politicians to work collaboratively in order to transform our district and become one of the first low carbon economies in the UK.
ZCH will fall under the umbrella of the Zero Carbon Yorkshire movement to make sure Yorkshire is among the first UK regions to formulate and deliver a viable Zero Carbon strategy.
Raise awareness of the need to transition to a low carbon sustainable economy and the means by which it can viably be achieved.
Maintain or raise the standard of living, using a wide range of criteria (wider than economic growth).
Assist in promoting or developing projects that “power down” our energy demand by around 60% with major savings in building heating and transport.
Assist in promoting or developing projects that “power up” the use of renewable energy from a variety of sources and carbon neutral energy produced without using fossil fuels. Providing clean, local, secure energy for our district.
Assist or develop strategies to bring about behavioural change to reduce personal carbon footprints through diet, product and service consumption, transport and domestic energy use.
Encourage the creation of local “green” jobs in our district.
Promote carbon capture by increased afforestation and peatland restoration.
Campaign for the implementation of low carbon sustainable strategies with local and national government as necessary.
ZCH will initially be working on individual carbon reduction and renewable energy generation projects and engaging support in all sectors of the local economy and community, whilst showcasing local success stories where carbon emissions have significantly been reduced.
We aim to achieve our objectives, by engaging, educating and collaborating with the Harrogate community, which will also improve the quality of life for Harrogate District residents. In order to do this more effectively we have established a number of working groups who are able to focus their time, efforts and skills on some of the key issues.
Buildings & Energy Group
Electricity production generates the second largest share of greenhouse gas emissions. We need to reduce our energy consumption and move to renewable energy production.
Greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock such as cows, agricultural soils, and rice production but as well as diet, we also need to consider transport, packaging and waste.
Raising awareness and providing good advice are essential if individuals and businesses alike are to address the root cause of their carbon emissions.
Natural Climate Solutions Group
Trees and peat land help to absorb the carbon emissions that we will find it hard to eliminate. Reforestation and better land management are needed.
Sustainable Transport Group
Transport accounts for the largest share of carbon emissions, with road transport accounting for almost three quarters of those emissions. This is therefore a vitally important area to be addressed.
Find out more about these working groups and contact the group leader if you would like to get involved.
ZCH is a member of the Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce.