North East aiming to become England's greenest region

A cross-sector coalition is urging people in the North East to come together with the aim of becoming England’s ‘greenest region’.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 7:00 am

The North East England Climate Coalition (NEECCo) is calling on individuals, households, businesses and organisations in the region to sign up and make a pledge to work together, and help attract investment to build a £1.5billion portfolio of investable projects.

NEECCo’s aims include agreeing ambitious targets to develop and deliver climate and environmental initiatives to tackle the climate emergency, reverse ecological collapse and deliver a transition to a new green economy.

The coalition includes the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System (ICS), the five North East universities, business organisations, regional government agency representatives, utility companies, voluntary sector organisations and trade unions.

Planning groups involving more than 50 partners have been established, focusing on agriculture and land use, retrofitting homes, the built environment, waste and consumption, green finance, indicators and community and public engagement.

Each group is working up action plans and project proposals that will form part of NEECCo’s work programme.

A draft of the regional plan will be published in July, to be followed by a period of public consultation. The final plan is scheduled to be launched in October.

Chair of NEECCo Sir Paul Ennals said: “The North East has a unique history. It was the birthplace of the industrial revolution and of innovations such as steam engines, deep pit mining, electric turbines and coal-fired power stations.

"These world-leading developments built the historic wealth of the region through coal, and it places a responsibility on our region to be at the forefront of the next industrial revolution – one based on a green economy with good jobs, better quality of life and enhanced natural assets for everyone to enjoy.

“We call upon everyone in the North East to do their bit so that we can move closer towards ‘Becoming England’s Greenest Region, so everyone benefits from greener neighbourhoods, improved air quality, more efficient homes, increased job opportunities and a better quality of life.”

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll added: “The climate emergency is the biggest threat we face.

"It’s going to take a joint effort – local and national government working cross-party, public bodies, private businesses and all of us as citizens.

“The good news is that decarbonising our economy is a chance to bring new investment, create jobs and better transport at the same time.

"I want to see a Zero-Carbon, Zero-Poverty North East. Everyone can sign up to that!”

For more or to make your pledge visit neecco.org.uk