Greener Sunderland: Update on drive to make Wearside more eco-friendly

Council bosses have revealed their progress in the fight to slash carbon emissions across Sunderland.

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 10:17 am
Picture c/o Pixabay

Sunderland City Council declared a ‘climate emergency’ in 2019 in response to urgent calls to tackle climate change.

Key pledges included the council becoming carbon-neutral by 2030 and factoring a ‘carbon cost’ into council decision-making processes.

At Wednesday’s (January 29) full council meeting, deputy council leader Coun Michael Mordey updated members on recent successes.

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This includes plans to plant thousands of trees on council land, LED street lighting and eco-friendly transport for staff.

Subject to up-to-date figures on carbon emissions, the council also plans to refresh its existing carbon plan.

Coun Mordey added funding bids are in the pipeline to support low carbon delivery with links to community engagement and supporting better mental and physical health.

He told councillors:“I will continue to update members regularly with a verbal update at each council meeting as we work towards developments of the updated city carbon reduction plan.

“I look forward to continuing to work together on this important priority for us all.”

On a city-wide level, work is also taking place to bring together key partners to reduce emissions.

These include Sunderland College, the University of Sunderland, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Sunderland’s Clinical Commissioning Group, Gentoo and the Department for Work and Pensions, as well as Nexus and Transport North East.

Updates on carbon reduction schemes in Sunderland include:

:: 48,000 street lights already replaced with LED lighting saving the council £3 million per annum and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 6,500 tonnes every year.

:: A further 1,500 non-standard lights due to be replaced in 2020/21, saving a further £35,000 per annum.

:: Heat network feasibility study commissioned for Sunderland city centre and the Riverside area

:: Council awarded £161,846.46 from Urban Tree Challenge Fund to plant 424 large trees and 2,000 small trees on council land before March 2021.

:: Four electric cycles ordered for employee business travel with further funding bids aiming to provide other sustainable transport for staff.

:: Working with not-for-profit organisation CDP to monitor carbon data.