What does Climate change mean in Newcastle?
Climate change is already affecting the weather in the North East. Our climate is getting warmer and wetter, with more extreme and frequent storms and hot days. We have always had flooding and heatwaves. But climate change makes them more likely and more intense, as it increases the energy in our weather. These changes will affect our economy, society and environment. The Council and partners must adapt our City, communities, and services to account for how climate change will affect them.
Left unchecked, climate change could have significant consequences across all sectors. It could increase flood risk to infrastructure and homes. These events also disrupt our economy, reducing productivity and compromising our ambitions for growth. And they won’t impact evenly across our society. Those who are most vulnerable are most affected.
The Committee on Climate Change has set out the risks the country faces in a significant level of detail. Their most recent report is available here. In Newcastle we have developed more local evidence of what this may mean for us. You can download it here:
Climate change evidence base (pdf, 1,930KB)
UK Climate Change Projections 2009 for Newcastle (pdf, 362KB)
Extra evidence on how severe weather and climate change affects the City is available here.
What is the City doing to prepare?
The City Council is undertaking a range of actions to adapt the City to these changes. These include:
- Understanding how climate change could affect our services and revising plans in response
- Assessing how climate change will affect major developments such as Science Central and East Pilgrim street
- Ensuring new development is resilient to future climate through local plan policies
- Delivering major projects to reduce risks of flooding
- Advising residents on actions on their own properties to help reduce flood risk
- Building residents' and organisations' capacity to prepare, respond, and recover in extreme weather
- Working with other Core Cities to improve our plans
Review of extreme events
In 2012, Newcastle experienced significant flooding, as well as a culvert collapse in Newburn. In response, our Scrutiny Committee ran a review to improve the City's response to emergencies and flooding. It made around 40 recommendations that the Council's Cabinet adopted and implemented. A copy of the report, and the Cabinet responses are available here:
Scrutiny Review of Extreme Events in Newcastle 2012 (pdf, 1,590Kb)
Newcastle Declaration on Blue-Green Cities
In February 2016, the Council launched a pledge on Blue and Green Cites, with some of our partners. The pledge aims to increase the amount of water features, and green walls, roofs and space in the City. Doing so is an effective way to tackle flooding, prepare for a changing climate and deliver extra benefits. Northumbrian Water, the Environment Agency, Newcastle University, Arup and Royal HaskoningDHV also signed the pledge.
You can read the original declaration here:
If your organisation wants to become a signatory, you can download a template here:
Newcastle Declaration on Blue and Green Infrastructure template (.docx, 1,239Kb)
Once you've completed it, please return to firstname.lastname@example.org, or email them for more information.
How are we monitoring progress?
The Council monitors progress through reports we voluntarily provide to the European Commission. In November 2014, the City signed up to Mayors Adapt. Mayors Adapt is the European Commission’s initiative on preparing for climate change. As a signatory, we report on progress on adapting our City every two years. We also update Government as part of our agreement in the National Adaptation Programme.