What are we doing about Climate Change?
Cabinet has set out clear commitments and created a dedicated portfolio lead in Cllr Clare Penny-Evans, cabinet member for communities and climate change.
Watch the interview below with 14-year-old Filipa Moreira, Newcastle Youth Councillor with responsibility for environment, who put her Climate Change questions to Cllr Clare Penny-Evans.
All policies and decisions made by the Cabinet will be considered against our climate change declaration.
Reducing our own carbon footprint
As a council, we have a clear leadership role to take in reducing our own emissions and we have seen a 33% reduction since 2010 which is the equivalent to 30,000 tonnes of CO2 from council buildings and travel – enough to fill Wembley stadium 15 times over.
- Reducing energy usage in our own buildings including more efficient lighting and heating systems
- Deploying renewable energy such as installing solar panels on the Civic Centre and at Manors car park
- Increase the number of electric vehicles in our fleet
- Support more active commuting, including bike to work schemes and associated facilities
- Rolling out an £8m street lighting programme by summer 2021 to reduce energy by 50-70%, saving £1.4m in energy costs
Investing in our highways' infrastructure
We’re ensuring the city has the right infrastructure to encourage more sustainable methods of transport and reduce congestion.
Prioritising public transport
We’re installing bus lanes across the city to prioritise public transport at key junctions, as well as upgrading traffic signals to give bus lanes priority and creating a new bus loop into the city centre.
Electric vehicle points
There are currently 75 electric charging points in the city centre. We are working on upgrading and expanding this network across the region with our neighbouring local authorities.
Clean Bus Technology Fund
We’ve secured £3.9m to upgrade over 200 buses with cleaner engines for buses serving Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside.
Walking and cycling infrastructure
In 2017, almost 9 million trips were made by bike in Newcastle, taking up to 6957 cars off the road network. We’re one of eight Cycle Ambition Cities, securing £16.3m to invest in walking and cycling infrastructure. This has enabled 16km of new cycle routes to be built, with a further 2km planned for this year. We also have a further 10km designed and ready to construct as soon as funding is available.
Streets for People
This programme works with residents to develop improvements to encourage more local journeys to be made on foot or by bike, rather than taking the car. There are three projects across the city.
We are working closely with Highways England to improve key junctions on the strategic network to reduce congestion, and we are investing on key routes across the city.
Clean Air Zone
We’re consulting on a Clean Air Zone in the city centre, with a view to implementing this by 2021. As well as charging non-compliant commercial vehicles a daily rate for entering our Clean Air Zone, we also have a few support measures and grants to help businesses, taxis, bus operators and haulage firms. You can read more at www.breathe-cleanair.com
Transforming Cities Fund
377 million bid to government to transform the way people travel around the North East which includes cycling and walking corridors, investment and improvements to Newcastle Central Motorway as well as better Park and Ride Facilities. This is the most ambitious and joint strategic bid for the whole of the North East.
We’re developing several services and projects to support residents and protect them against increasing costs to help move toward a low carbon society.
- Using robotic technology to insulate tenants homes through Your Home Newcastle’s Qbot initiative, which increases the variety and type of homes we can insulate to save energy, time and cost
- Energy for the Future project delivers home visits for tailored energy efficiency advice to Your Homes Newcastle tenants
- The Byker District Heating Investment Programme has helped over 228 homes
- Installed 1034 solar panels on our homes and public buildings, helping to reduce electricity bills and emissions
- Helping residents to reduce their energy use by providing advice and access to funding for insulation and more efficient heating
- Increasing the variety of household waste that can be recycled through our processing centres
- We have five-year tree strategy to manage and develop trees across the city and plant an additional 19,500 by 2050, creating greener and healthier places for residents to enjoy
We will help businesses with tackling the cost of climate change, reducing costs and developing new market opportunities from the low carbon society.
Business Energy Saving Team BEST
BEST provide a fully funded energy efficiency audit for small or medium sized business. They identify energy efficiency improvements and reduce their carbon footprint.
Minimum Energy Efficiency Scheme
From April 2020, it will be unlawful to allow landlords to let any property with an EPC rating of F or below. Our local authority is taking part in a pilot study to take enforcment on this.
Working with partners
We will strengthen our partnerships and work collaboratively across the private and public sectors to develop a carbon neutral future for the city.
- Newcastle Helix
This is our flagship development in partnership with Legal and General and Newcastle University which is a 24-acre sustainable urban development with prestigious office and residential space. All buildings are supplied by cost-effective and low carbon energy solutions as part of a pioneering partnership with the council and leading energy supplier Engie.