A graphic reads: "Calderdale wins prestigious award for climate leadership"
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Calderdale Council's Zero Carbon Calderdale programme recognised for excellence in climate action.

UK100's Climate Leadership Academy and Local Power in Action programmes supported the council's journey.

Award highlights the impact of local climate leadership in driving national progress towards Net Zero.

LONDON, 25 JUNE — Calderdale Council has been crowned the winner of the Leadership in Responding to the Climate Emergency category at The MJ Awards 2024 (Friday, 21 June), recognising their groundbreaking Zero Carbon Calderdale programme.

The achievement comes after the council's participation in UK100's Climate Leadership Academy. The Zero Carbon Calderdale project is being delivered with the support of UK100’s Local Power in Action programme, demonstrating the power of local climate collaboration and leadership in driving climate action.

The MJ Awards, one of the most prestigious events in the local government calendar, celebrate outstanding achievement by local authorities across the UK. Calderdale's win in the climate leadership category underscores the council's commitment to ambitious climate action and its success in engaging the local community in a just transition.

Calderdale’s winning programme was developed through extensive consultation and aligns with the council's vision of reducing inequality and creating thriving places. The programme's success was bolstered by support from UK100's Climate Leadership Academy and Local Power in Action initiative, which provides political support and expertise to overcome barriers to implementation.

Cllr Scott Patient, Cabinet Member for Climate Action and Housing and Deputy Leader at Calderdale Council, says:

"We are so proud of all our teams who work on climate action and nature. It's fantastic to be recognised for all our collaborative work with UK100 and partners across Calderdale, including our amazing voluntary sector and beyond. This work transcends party politics or borders! Zero Carbon Calderdale is a testament to the power of community engagement and political will in tackling the climate emergency.

"This award isn't just a win for Calderdale Council, it's a win for every resident, business, and organisation that has contributed to our journey towards Net Zero. It shows that when we work together, local action can have a significant impact on the national stage."

Christopher Hammond, Chief Executive of UK100, comments:

"Calderdale Council's win at The MJ Awards is a shining example of co-ordinated climate action and outstanding political leadership. Their success with Zero Carbon Calderdale demonstrates the vital role that programmes like our Climate Leadership Academy and Local Power in Action play in equipping local leaders with the tools and knowledge they need to drive ambitious climate initiatives.

"As we approach the next general election, Calderdale's achievement sends a powerful message about the importance of supporting and investing in local climate leadership, especially on retrofit, green growth and energy. We hope this inspires other local authorities and pushes the next government to put local climate action at the heart of the devolution agenda."

Calderdale Council’s award submission highlighted several key initiatives, including:

  • A £1 million Climate Action Fund, in partnership with the Community Foundation for Calderdale, supporting projects run by local voluntary and community groups.
  • Implementation of natural flood management (NFM) measures at over 90 sites in the borough, with £1 million allocated to local landowners to support NFM on private land.
  • Development of an interactive Local Area Energy Plan (LAEP) digital twin model, the first of its kind for a local authority in England, to help identify decarbonisation opportunities.
  • The Calderdale Retrofit Challenge project, supported by nearly £300k from Innovate UK's Net Zero Living Programme, focusing on solutions for energy-efficient building retrofits.

This recognition comes at a crucial time, with the UK facing significant challenges in meeting its climate targets. Calderdale's success story provides a blueprint for other local authorities looking to accelerate their climate action and demonstrates the critical role of local leadership in delivering the UK’s national climate goals.


More information: Liam Ward, UK100, media@uk100.org

Notes to the editors

  • The MJ Awards are an annual celebration of excellence in local government, recognising the achievements of councils across the UK.
  • The Climate Leadership Academy is UK100's flagship training programme for local authority leaders committed to ambitious climate action. Applications for the 2024 cohort are now open until 10 July 2024. The Academy offers ambitious councillors a unique coaching opportunity to develop their political skills, knowledge and confidence, to become leading climate pioneers in local government.
  • Local Power in Action is a UK100 programme offering tailored support to accelerate progress towards councils' Net Zero goals.
  • The Calderdale Climate Action Plan, launched in December 2023, focuses on steps the whole Calderdale community can take between 2023 and 2026 to make progress towards the borough's target of net zero carbon emissions by 2038. The plan emphasises the need to work together to achieve carbon targets and protect the environment, focusing on actions that will have the biggest impact now and unlock the best long-term results.

About UK100

UK100’s primary purpose is to support a local-led rapid transition to Net Zero and Clean Air. We do this through collaboration. 

To accelerate action, we believe in bringing together the most influential leaders across the country to learn together and agree on priorities for legislative and regulatory change while empowering them to engage with national decision-makers. 

We provide our network with the knowledge, tools and connections to make this happen.