Campaigners at Climate Action Northumberland hand petition to Northumberland County Council

Campaigners in Northumberland calling for action to confront the climate crisis met senior councillors today to hand over a 1,300-name petition.

By Ben O'Connell
Thursday, 27 June, 2019, 16:20

At the end of May, local activist group Climate Action Northumberland (CAN) made a public call for Northumberland County Council to do its bit and declare a climate emergency, launching a petition on the issue at the same time.

Within three weeks, the authority had done just that, vowing to half its own carbon footprint by 2025 as well as making Northumberland carbon-neutral by 2030, while also agreeing to produce ‘a comprehensive and costed action plan for the next three years’.

Climate Action Northumberland petition handover

To hand over their petition, a group of CAN members met cabinet members Coun Glen Sanderson, Coun Nick Oliver and Coun Richard Wearmouth plus the council’s executive director of place, Paul Johnston, outside County Hall in Morpeth, where there was also a discussion about the next steps the authority needs to take.

CAN’s Peter Fuller said: “We are very encouraged indeed by the fact that they have already declared a climate emergency before we have handed in the petition.

“They’ve done a lot of work on how they run their own business in terms of solar panels on their buildings, improving insulation and reducing the amount of travel that their staff are doing around the county.

“These are all great initiatives; we want to see this rolled out so it affects the rest of the community – their planning policies, their transport policies, the way that they recycle rubbish, for example.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Climate Action Northumberland petition handover

CAN has been invited to join the steering group that the council is setting up to create the action plan and the first meeting is due to take place on Monday, July 15.

Coun Sanderson, the cabinet member for the environment, said: ““There will be times when we can’t do everything they would like us to do because of cost or other reasons and we may well disappoint, but we will try our very hardest to involve everything we do as a county council with this very important topic.

“Because we’ve declared an emergency, it goes to the top of the agenda and that’s where it is now, firmly at the top of the agenda.”