The University of Huddersfield is joining forces with Kirklees Climate Commission (KCC) in the fight against climate change.

The university’s deputy vice-chancellor Prof Tim Thornton has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with KCC chairman Prof Peter Roberts OBE which formalises the already strong relationship between the two organisations.

As a result of the partnership the commission will re-locate to the university’s Huddersfield Business School.

The commission’s aim is to develop initiatives enabling people and organisations in Kirklees to work towards net zero carbon emissions and promote greater climate resilience.

The collaboration between the university and the commission could include joint applications for project funding.

Prof Thornton said: “The university will not only enhance the KCC’s approach to enabling engagement and debate on climate change but, by working together, we can strengthen the evidence base, promote best practice and regularly review progress across the district and beyond.

“Co-location and closer collaboration will also unlock further possibilities to enhance impact with the university’s research and teaching.”

KCC chairman Prof Roberts added: “Many aspects of life are already affected by climate change and dealing with these negative consequences is an urgent matter.

“More importantly, it is essential to develop and apply solutions that avoid or mitigate against the cause of climate change.”

This latest endeavour builds on the university’s long-standing dedication to sustainability and environmental improvement.

In early 2020 a Climate Emergency Steering Group was established at the university. Chaired by Prof Thornton, the steering group collaborated to produce the ‘Carbon Neutral Strategy: A Ten Point Plan for the Planet.’

Adopted by the University Council in November 2020, the plan reflected the university’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality. New net zero targets were set and are being met and surpassed.

Future projects with the KCC are now being planned including a major conference as well as support and opportunities for students to engage with the commission.