Visit by shadow climate minister puts spotlight on local net zero progress

Kerry McCarthy, shadow minister for climate change and MP for Bristol East, visited Hull last week to find out about the progress being made by local organisations who are working together to reduce their carbon footprints.

She was a guest of Oh Yes! Net Zero, the community of over 170 Hull and Humber-based organisations committed to taking action to achieve net zero.

Oh Yes! Net Zero was established in 2022 by founding partners Reckitt, Hull City Council, Future Humber and the University of Hull and is a leading example of how cities and towns can drive progress towards the UK’s net zero targets, stimulating economic growth and addressing regional inequalities.

At a round table event held at Reckitt’s Science & Innovation Centre on Thursday 9 November, Ms McCarthy met with Hull City Council leader Mike Ross, Hull West and Hessle MP Emma Hardy and managing director of Future Humber Dr Diana Taylor. Also present were representatives from Oh Yes! Net Zero members including Ideal Heating, Smith+Nephew, the University of Hull, C3 Group, Springfield Solutions, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy and the event host, Reckitt.

As well as hearing about the actions local organisations are taking to cut their carbon emissions, Ms McCarthy shared the approach to net zero being taken in Bristol.

She said: “It was great to find out how the public and private sector have come together in Hull to support and empower the business and wider community in their efforts to become more sustainable, and to share information about some of the low carbon projects underway in Bristol to address decarbonisation.

“I was impressed by the passion and leadership shown by the Oh Yes! Net Zero members, and by their commitment to creating a best-in-class place-based approach to net zero. I wish the campaign every success in its goals and look forward to hearing more about its achievements in the future.”

Melissa Rackham, community engagement manager for Oh Yes! Net Zero, said: “We were delighted to showcase what our members, who range from micro-businesses to multinationals, are doing to prepare for a net zero future, as well as discussing the hurdles they are facing in doing so. 

“Collaboration is a key focus of the Oh Yes! Net Zero community, and the visit was also a valuable opportunity to learn how Bristol is approaching the challenges and opportunities presented by decarbonisation.”

Councillor Mike Ross said: “It was great to be able to welcome Kerry McCarthy to the city to talk about the vital issue of decarbonisation and, crucially, be part of a team effort to show her the work taking place here in Hull and the region.  

“The Oh Yes! Net Zero campaign is a brilliant example of partnership in action, as it involves both members of the private and public sectors addressing head-on the actions local organisations need to take to tackle climate change in the area.

“While councils have an important part to play in supporting businesses and residents on the path to net zero, here in Hull we know we do this best working collaboratively with local business and the University. Through playing a leading role in the Oh Yes! Net zero campaign, Hull City Council is committed to inspiring others to take action to cut carbon emissions.”

Emma Hardy, MP for Hull West and Hessle, said: “Hull was devastated by floods in 2007 and remains on the frontline of the effects of climate change.

“As a local MP and shadow minister for flooding, oceans and coastal communities I understand just how vital it is we create a greener, carbon-neutral economy.

“Oh Yes! Net Zero is an important part of that journey for Hull, helping to make it one that involves everybody: from public to private and community to corporate. The Labour Party is fully committed to achieving net zero, and plans make the UK a clean energy super-power by 2030.” 

Oh Yes! Net Zero provides members with expert advice, workshops and opportunities to collaborate with and learn from each other. Organisations and businesses, as well as individuals, can join Oh Yes! Net Zero or find out more at