Northumberland 'greenest in UK' according to new carbon emission figures
Northumberland is the greenest local authority in the North East in terms of its carbon emissions, as well as in the top 10 across the UK, according to new figures.
The county is also named among the top five nationwide in terms of the reduction in its emissions over the previous decade.
With the UK recently committing to net-zero emissions by 2050, Migrate used the latest data from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which covers up to 2017, to rank local authorities by their CO2 emissions per capita, as well as the areas that have done the most to reduce their carbon footprint over a 10-year period.
Northumberland’s emissions total of 2.42 tonnes of CO2 is comfortably ahead of the next lowest in the region – South Tyneside’s 3.53 tonnes.
The county’s total is the seventh lowest in the UK, behind two Scottish Highlands authorities in the top spots then four London boroughs – where it appears efforts to improve air quality in the city are having an impact.
In total Northumberland’s emissions have dropped by 8.7 tonnes over a 10-year period – a reduction of 78.3%, meaning it is the fourth most improved council area in the UK.
Another North East authority – Redcar and Cleveland – is in third spot, with a 10-year reduction of 80.3%, but the industrial area still has the second highest total emissions in the region – 14.84 tonnes (Stockton-on-Tees is at 15.58 tonnes).
This news comes as Northumberland County Council works on an action plan after declaring a climate emergency earlier this year and pledging to reduce the authority’s emissions by half by 2025 and make the county carbon-neutral by 2030.
The first meeting of the climate change steering group took place on Friday (September 13) at County Hall ahead of the detailed plan being published in December.
After the meeting, Conservative and council leader Peter Jackson said: “Northumberland is leading the way among North East authorities and is pursuing an ambitious strategy to generate more green energy, consume less energy and increase emissions capture.
“Working with partners, our council will take immediate steps to moderate and eventually dramatically reduce our carbon footprint.
“There is a great deal that can be done and we will be seeking feedback from residents on our plans in the following weeks and months.
“We are determined to demonstrate our commitment to the climate change agenda by our actions and through community leadership. We will also influence the regional and national agenda.”
Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for the environment, who is chairing the steering group, added: “Council staff have really embraced the desire of our Conservative administration to take this important issue very seriously.
“Much has already been done and clear plans across all areas of council activity will be presented soon. This will include doubling the number of electrical charging points in our car parks and increasing tree planting on council-owned land to help with carbon capture.”