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Green Party campaigner Tay Pitman challenges Council leader on Climate Impacts promise

After Newcastle Council declared a climate emergency, we have been asking what's next.

Today, Council Leader Nick Forbes pledged that the council should reveal the climate change impact of every big decision they make. He wants every decision to be assessed against the pledge to make the city carbon neutral by 2030. Currently items sent to cabinet for a decision are not assessed according to their environmental merits.

He also said that in the Autumn the council will be starting a Climate Change Convention to consider the radical changes we need to make as a city in order to meet the 2030 target. We look forward to engaging with the Convention and helping Newcastle move to a sustainable future.

Tay Pitman - Green Campaigner says

“We welcome Councillor Forbes’ commitment to face up to the urgency of climate action in our city and agree that assessing the impact of council policies on greenhouse gas emissions is vital.

We hope that any such impacts will be measurable, in terms of tonnes of CO2 and other greenhouse gases resulting from decisions or policies.

This should be regardless of the nature of those emissions, whether they are directly from council activities or from the residents of Newcastle as a result of council policies such as road-building schemes.

It is also vital that the council reviews existing policies, like its Development and Allocations Plan that assigns land for opencast coal mining at Dewley Hill or car-based developments on greenbelt land, against its commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Without such a rethink, decisions made now will lock us into higher emissions in future years, making the challenge even more difficult."