Image demonstrating Climate Change Action Plan reaches next stage

Climate Change Action Plan reaches next stage

Northumberland County Council’s Cabinet has formally approved its draft Climate Change Action Plan - and a further £3m could be committed over the next three years to get a raft of projects underway.

If agreed by full council in January, it would bring the council’s total capital investment in renewable energy schemes to more than £10m over the medium term financial plan period.

It comes after the council declared a ‘climate emergency’ earlier this year  - vowing to half its carbon footprint by 2025 and make the county carbon neutral by 2030.

In recent years the council has reduced its carbon emissions by a third and the area is now ranked as one of the greenest in the country. However it’s acknowledged it has a significant role to play in further reducing greenhouse gas emissions and cutting its carbon footprint.

One of the council’s first pledges was to develop an Action Plan within six months of declaring an emergency, and following a programme of engagement it was approved by the Climate Change Steering Group in November and will now be considered by full Council in January 2020.

A range of activities are already underway, including work to establish a Climate Change  Commission, with the local authority looking to team up with world leading experts and industry leaders to make a real difference in collective responsibility.

The Cabinet has now recommended that full council approve extra funding up to 2023 for a number of major schemes, including £2.9m towards a solar car port at County Hall, £1.9m for a Hexham hydro-electric project and £4m for renewable heat schemes.

Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, said: “We have made Climate Change a priority for the Council and I am very grateful for all the expertise and work that has gone into our Action Plan.

We have presented our work at public meetings across the county and received valuable feedback.

We will build on that dialogue with residents and schools and will be introducing new initiatives up to 2025 including a further roll out across the county of electric vehicle charging points and we will look at public transport to see what we can do to encourage more bus and train use.

“We also want to see significant tree planting so over the next five years we will be offering every household  in Northumberland a free sapling tree.”

Click here to read the full draft action plan.
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