Yorkshire can be world player in green industrial revolution, editor tells readers

The Yorkshire Post cleared its front page on the eve of the COP26 summit to urge its region to ‘go faster and further’ in the battle against climate change.

The YP is hosting a climate change summit on November 10 to explore how the region can ensure it is at the forefront of saving the planet.

In Saturday’s paper, a special supplement called “Yorkshire, a Climate Conscious County” was produced.

Editor James Mitchinson wrote: “While Yorkshire is home to some of the nation’s most beautiful countryside, it is also one of the most polluting areas of the UK.

“That needs to change, urgently. Thanks to our region’s leaders across the world of business and politics, we are now set in this region to lead a new industrial revolution, one that will harness our finest levels of innovation to create a new green economy that will sustain Yorkshire into the next century.

“Thanks to the region’s unique geography, forward-thinking businesses and the skill sets of its workforce, Yorkshire can lead not just the UK but the world into new ways of powering our economy and removing carbon from the atmosphere.

“The hour is upon us to become a major world player in the green industrial revolution.

“It is up to us to seize the moment. Not for us, but for our children and grandchildren.”

In a powerful front page leader yesterday, the paper urged: “Sir David Attenborough spoke for Yorkshire — and the waiting world — when he declared on the eve of the COP26 climate change summit: “Can we just say goodbye and say this is no business of ours?”

“No, we cannot. The moral obligation of every generation, as the TV naturalist and broadcaster suggested, should be to leave our planet and natural environment in better shape for those to come.

“And while this is the international age of industrial innovation, no continent, community or corner is immune from climate change and global warming; lives are being lost by the minute.

“This is a chance for the Prime Minister to lead from the front — Mr Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May passed laws committing the UK to become the first world-leading economy to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050 — and showcase the example that Britain, and this county in particular, now sets.

“After all, Yorkshire finds itself at the forefront of the green energy revolution thanks to flagship projects ranging from the Siemens factory in Hull manufacturing offshore wind turbine blades to the landmark announcement just this week by Morrisons than the Bradford-based supermarket wants to be net zero by 2035 — five years earlier than planned — thanks to its renewed focus on local produce and energy efficiency.

“This is why Yorkshire is proud to call itself a ‘climate conscious county’– the theme of a special supplement in The Yorkshire Post this weekend to coincide with both COP26 and this newspaper’s inaugural climate change summit on November 10.

“This is just a start — this newspaper has, for example, long advocated fundamental changes to the planning system like those now put forward by the CPRE which prioritise “thriving 20-minute neighbourhoods that place housing, amenities and workplaces within walking distance of each other”.

And while this region should be proud of its record to date — one which prompted Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to acknowledge how Yorkshire is setting the pace, domestically and internationally, for “the green industrial revolution” — there is a moral responsibility to go faster and further.

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The stories behind the stories, from the regional press in the UK

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