Newcastle City Council achieves significant reduction in carbon footprint

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A NEW report shows that Newcastle City Council has reduced its carbon footprint by 13% over the last financial year.

The latest greenhouse gas report reveals the cumulative effect of the council’s efforts to reduce CO2 across schools, council buildings and fleet vehicles and the use of cleaner energy through the national grid.

Over the last ten years, the council’s total emissions have dropped by more than 40% following a range of interventions and initiatives across all council services.

This includes reducing energy usage across council buildings, with more efficient lighting and heating systems, using renewable energy such as installing solar panels on the Civic Centre and at Manors car park and increasing the number of electric vehicles in the council’s fleet.

Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council and Chair of the Climate Change Committee said: “As the local authority, we have a clear leadership role in reducing our own carbon footprint and I’m delighted that the latest report shows such a significant drop across our organisation.

“This is testament to our commitment to put climate change at the top of our agenda, shaping all of our decisions on policies, services, projects and how the council operates on a daily basis.

“Over the last decade, despite austerity, our forward-looking council has reduced our own emissions by around 41% – which is the equivalent to 39,000 tonnes of CO2 from council buildings and travel – enough to fill Wembley stadium 19 times over.

“However, we are not complacent and know more needs done. Not just by us, but also by government and everyone across the city including residents, businesses, organisations and the public sector so our city can go further and faster and lead our great city to play our part in a climate-friendly global economy.

”As part of this, alongside my cabinet member for climate change, Cllr Clare Penny-Evans, our Climate Change Committee will develop plans to meet our net zero target for 2030.

“In the meantime, we’ve set out clear proposals in our medium-term plan which includes including planting 1,000 trees, rolling out an LED street lighting scheme, more electric vehicles in our fleet, as well as working on ambitious bids to develop solar energy in Newcastle and launching a district heating scheme on our flagship Helix development.”

The cross-party committee is tasked with leading the city’s response to the climate change emergency, including reviewing the call for evidence launched last month, calling on residents, businesses, academics and activists to join the climate change conversation to help shape the city’s carbon neutral future.

The report is due to be presented to the Climate Change Committee on 17 January.

You can read the latest report here