Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

City Looks at Tackling Its Green Issues

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

City Looks at Tackling Its Green Issues

Article excerpt

NEWCASTLE'S bid to do more to tackle green issues will be boosted today as environmental leaders gather to discuss how to transform the city.

The city council's Greening Newcastle debate comes as rising food and fuel costs, access to jobs and the impact of the local environment on quality of life hits thousands of residents. Plans for the future include how to manage the effects of climate change as well as new ways of managing waste, recycling and transport.

At a public policy cabinet meeting being held today, at 4.30pm in the Great Hall of the Sutherland Building at Northumbria University in Newcastle, leader of the council Nick Forbes will chair a discussion with workers across the city's green and environmental sectors. They will also consider the findings of the council's Creating a Greener Newcastle policy briefing paper, which outlines the importance of adapting to the unknown effects of temperature and severe weather events such as 2012's floods.

Nigel Todd, deputy cabinet member for environment and transport at Newcastle City Council, said Newcastle's significant inroads in tackling green issues needs to be cemented with a vision for the future.

He said: "Newcastle has made significant progress over the past few years in tackling the impacts of climate change, but we cannot take our eye off the ball.

"Last year's heavy and prolonged rainfall was a reminder of how damaging and costly climatic episodes can be. Greening Newcastle is a shift of gear towards more effective action at city-wide and neighbourhood levels."

Since 2004 the city has made positive inroads on cutting domestic carbon emissions, tackling fuel poverty and reducing energy bills. Between 2004 and 2012, the Newcastle Warm Zones Partnership installed insulation in more than 42,000 homes and delivered over 300,000 energy-efficient light bulbs. These measures are believed to have saved residents PS5.7m a year in energy costs alone.

The city was named Sustainable City of the Year in 2009 and 2010, and last year the council and its partners applied to the European Commission's European Green Capital Award 2014. …

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