South Tyneside Council leader signs pledge targeting net zero carbon emissions by 2030
The top woman at South Tyneside Council has signed a pledge targeting net zero carbon emissions from council operations by 2030.
Councillor Tracey Dixon has also pledged to strive to reduce carbon emissions across the region by 2045.
The announcement is part of the UK100 mission, involving Local Authorities across the country in their quest to work together to lobby the Government to implement policies and funding in the fight against climate change.
Cllr Dixon said: “This isn’t about talk, its about action. It’s about leading on the issues that we can directly affect and using our collective power to bring about national policy change.
“We’ve already set ourselves ambitious targets as a council and we are delivering on those. Our next challenge is to work in partnership across the borough and beyond.
"The most significant changes need national policy change and significant investment from central Government. By working together as UK100 we can hopefully make a real difference on bringing forward those big national policy changes we are so desperate to see.”
The council leader has also agreed to report carbon emissions annually from 2022 and to limit the use of carbon offsets, and if used, to be as local as possible. Carbon offsets are strategies such as the planting of trees or conversion to renewable energy to offset carbon emissions elsewhere.
Cllr Dixon added: “Signing this pledge is not just good for the planet but for the people of South Tyneside, who deserve warm homes, affordable energy, clean air, local and seasonal food, access to thriving nature and healthy landscapes, and to live in a place we can all be proud of.
“Local authorities across the country are leading the fight against climate change in our communities. We now need national policy change to help us go further and bring others on the journey with us.”
The UK100 is the only network for local leaders focused solely on climate, clean energy and clean air policies.
Network Membership Director Christopher Hammond said: "We're thrilled to welcome Cllr Tracey Dixon to UK100's network of highly ambitious local government leaders that are committed to a net zero transition.
“The fundamental challenge of our time is moving towards net zero emissions to preserve our way of life and avert climate breakdown.
“Local Government is uniquely placed to overcome these challenges. Not only do they provide services, but they have a unique sphere of influence. Fantastic things are already happening in county, city, town and village halls across the country. Making their communities fairer, safer and greener.
“By joining UK100 and committing to bold targets, South Tyneside Council has demonstrated that it is facing these challenges and playing a decisive role in tackling climate change ahead of the National Government's target."
In May 2020 the Council published its action plan to bring about carbon neutrality for its operations. Strategies include the installation of solar panels on 21 Council buildings, LED lighting and boiler upgrades and renewable energy schemes at sites including Middlefields Energy Centre and Viking Energy Network.