Newcastle bids to be a European leader on climate change
Newcastle City Council has submitted a bid to the European Commission for the city to become one of its climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030.
Leaders at the council have also declared climate change the ‘single biggest challenge' facing the city.
The chosen cities will become innovation hubs and act as leading examples for all other European cities to follow by 2050 in the transition towards climate neutrality.
Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “This is a huge opportunity for our city and shows our ambition to continue to play a leading role in tackling the climate emergency.
Cllr Clare Penny-Evans, Newcastle City Council Cabinet member for climate change and public safety, says “The climate crisis is the single biggest challenge facing our city so I am excited about the new opportunities becoming a climate-neutral and smart city would create."
What are the benefits of Newcastle becoming a climate-neutral and smart city?
Unlocking additional funding through EU programmes
Opportunities for it to be part of large innovation actions and pilot projects
Support through a national coordination network
Learning from and exchanging experiences with other cities
Involving residents and local communities in climate-neutral solutions
In November, Newcastle retained its status as one of the world's climate leaders for its ongoing efforts to achieve net zero by 2030, one of only 11 places in the UK to receive the top “A” grade from an international climate research provider CDP and one of only 95 globally.
Newcastle City Council was recently ranked the 4th best single-tier authority and 7th out of all 409 local authorities in the country for its climate action plan, following analysis by Climate Emergency UK.
What is climate neutral?
According to the European Council, becoming climate neutral means: reducing greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible, but it also means compensating for any remaining emissions. This is how a net-zero emissions balance can be achieved.
A net-zero emissions balance is achieved when the amount of greenhouse gas released into the atmosphere is neutralised. This can be done by carbon sequestration for example removing carbon from the atmosphere, or through offsetting measures, which typically involve supporting climate-oriented projects.