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5 Live puts national focus on local climate action in Leeds: City on a Mission

Press release

BBC Radio 5 Live is launching a new year-long project that will follow the city of Leeds in its efforts to cut carbon emissions.

Leeds has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2030. BBC Radio 5 Live will follow families, business people, campaigners, and local leaders for a year as they seek to make the changes needed to deliver a greener future for the city.

Leeds: City on a Mission will begin on Monday May 24 with 5 Live Breakfast’s Rachel Burden presenting live from The Holbeck Working Men’s Club in Leeds – thought to be one of the oldest surviving social clubs in Britain.

Andy Gouldson, Professor of Environmental Policy at the University of Leeds and Leeds Climate Commission’s Chair will be interviewed on the show, along with Polly Cook, Chief Officer for Sustainable Energy and Air Quality at Leeds City Council, who is also a Commissioner for Leeds Climate Commission.

Throughout the day, 5 Live programming, including Adrian Chiles (10.00), Nihal Arthanayake (13.00), Drive (16.00) and Colin Murray (22.30) will continue to feature content on the Leeds initiative, including talking to members of the Leeds Climate Change Citizens’ Jury, which took place in 2019.

‘Leeds: City On A Mission’ will help audiences across Britain understand what moving to a net-zero economy could really mean for their homes, their work, the way they travel, their diet and their leisure time.

Rachel Burden said: “After everything we’ve been through this year there seems to be renewed focus on looking after each other more in the future, and how we tackle the climate crisis is part of that. I’m excited to see how a city like Leeds is doing things – and how it will directly impact on the lives of the people living there.”

Informing the future

In April this year, the UK government pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 78 percent by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. The UK’s climate target is for net-zero emissions by 2050, but Leeds declared a climate emergency in April 2019 and set a more ambitious target for the city of 2030.

The Industrial Revolution saw not just incredible technical innovation and mass manufacturing, but also huge economic, social and political changes. Leeds was at the heart of some of those changes.

5 Live will be taking a closer look at how a big city goes about reducing its carbon emissions. From cleaner air to active travel, the station will be discussing whether you can go green without making your life harder and having honest discussions about the challenges ahead.

Running for a whole year, the series will be going in-depth on houses, food, transport, waste and leisure time, hearing from different generations and communities about what they think of a net-zero Britain.