In York and North Yorkshire, we have the ambition to be carbon-neutral by 2034 and carbon-negative by 2040. This ambition builds upon our Local Energy Strategy, Circular Economy Strategy and COVID Reshaping Plan to create a greener, fairer and stronger region. In partnership with West Yorkshire Combined Authority, York and North Yorkshire LEP commissioned a comprehensive study to understand the action required to achieve our ambitious carbon-reduction targets. The Carbon Abatement Pathways Study sets out technically robust pathways to carbon neutral and beyond across an integrated model of the five most carbon-intensive sectors – buildings, transport, industry, power, and land use and agriculture. These pathways were then used to identify key milestones, decision points, policies and interventions that can drive the transition toward these outcomes, including timeframes of actions and roles of stakeholders in their delivery.

The four scenarios for transition to net zero have different speeds of decarbonisation due to varying levels of reliance on core existing and emerging technologies and alignment with other targets. These scenarios (Baseline, Max ambition, High hydrogen, and Balanced) were sense-checked by regional and national experts in the first part of the study, before the in-depth modelling of the sectors.

The scale of the challenge – what must happen by 2038 in the Max ambition scenario to meet climate targets?

The modelling was completed in June 2020 and the study moved into its second task – identifying policy interventions that can translate the evidence base into real-world impacts. This task was informed by extensive policy co-design, via sector-specific surveys and wash-up web sessions through July and August 2020, gathering the input of 100 policy-makers across York and North Yorkshire. There was then a further round of review in November 2020, where we began to take forward individual projects based on the study’s recommendations and started to develop an action-oriented Routemap Towards Carbon Negative.

The final report was published in March 2021. The LEP’s Low Carbon and Environment team have been working with key partners to assess the strategic alignment of the policy recommendations, and are now undergoing a series of Roundtable events to co-create an evidence-based and stakeholder-led Routemap Towards Carbon Negative, including proposing appropriate governance. The Roundtables will include decision-makers from regional stakeholders who have the reach and power to leverage the change we need to see in York and North Yorkshire to deliver a carbon-negative, circular economy.

If you’re interested in joining us for the Roundtable sessions and being part of the Routemap Towards Carbon-Negative, please contact [email protected]

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Carbon Abatement Pathways Executive Summary

Carbon Abatement Pathways Full Report