Zero carbon, Zero poverty

 

“I refuse to condemn my sons’ generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing. We are going to take everyone with us as we transition to a new green economy. This means ensuring that all our jobs are fit for the future. We must act now, and in the North of Tyne we have a plan – one that is for people, and for jobs.”

– Mayor Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne

 

Our 5-point plan

Good Green Jobs: 

  • A relentless focus on investment to create good green jobs
  • Rolling out our Good Work Pledge – for better jobs and decent wages
  • Turbo charging local firms to build a green economy

Future Green Skills:

  • Bring together education and industry to put green skills at the heart of our workforce
  • Create green retraining opportunities for adults who need to change jobs
  • Invest in STEM to give our young people a modern world-class education

Net Zero Economy:

  • Decarbonise the grid by investing in wind energy, battery technology and clean electricity
  • Create low carbon jobs in digital, life sciences and culture
  • Campaign for an affordable, safe and integrated public transport system; connecting our region faster, unlocking growth and creating new jobs.

Great Place To Be:

  • Housing for everyone – more homes on unused derelict land
  • Invest in digital for all so that everyone can easily get online reducing the need to travel
  • Reimagining our High Streets, to support sustainability, culture and local produce

Citizen Power

What we have done so far towards our 5 point plan:

NTCA launched our £18m Green New Deal in November 2021 which will enable SMEs, public sector and community and voluntary organisations to access funding for low carbon projects and create green jobs.

NTCA Climate Change, Energy and Green Growth Blueprint (published in April 2020) outlines our approach to tackling the climate emergency and includes:

  • £12 million allocation for the Offshore Wind Infrastructure and Innovation Programme.
  • £10 million allocation to establish a Green New Deal Fund.
  • £2 million allocated to Green Growth Skills
  • £100,000 allocated for further development work for a revolving NTCA Carbon Reduction Fund, including supporting community energy.
  • £100,000 allocated to develop a pipeline of future interventions to support citizen, community and public sector engagement

This £24.2 million total allocation equates to approximately a quarter of the devolved NTCA Investment Funding in the first 5 year programming period to ensure the region can benefit from the opportunities associated with our future green economy.

The Technology, Innovation & Green Growth for Offshore Renewables (TIGGOR) is a £3.5m programme designed to boost supply chain growth and productivity in the North of Tyne and wider North East England region’s offshore wind and subsea sectors.

In March 2021, NTCA agreed to contribute £495,000 from the £10m allocated to develop the Green New Deal Fund to jointly fund the North East Energy Accelerator which has been developed to overcome market barriers and accelerate investment in low carbon projects across the North East.

The transition to net zero is further embedded into our Corporate Plan (published June 2021) – our approach is summarised in our zero carbon, zero poverty 5 point plan.

NTCA Environmental Policy (published June 2020) commits us to embed climate change into our decision making processes and work towards becoming a net zero organisation – our carbon footprint report (published November 2021) explains that we have invested in local woodland creation that will, over time, produce verifiable emissions reductions locally while we continue to work to reduce our corporate emissions.

NTCA Strategic Skills Plan (published March 2021) demonstrates that green growth and energy are priority growth sectors for North of Tyne, emphasising the opportunities around developing green skills and a just and inclusive transition to a green economy.  We launched our £2m Green Skills call for proposals in September 2021 to support this.

The North of Tyne Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change published their Final Report in July 2021.  The NTCA Cabinet Paper in July 2021 introduces the work and the report of the Citizens’ Assembly, outlines progress in implementing our (March 2020) Climate Change, Energy and Green Growth Blueprint, and identifies further opportunities to build on the recommendations of our Citizens’ Assembly.

NTCA jointly commissioned the Centre for Sustainable Energy to undertake research into how we can better support community energy across the North East and NTCA have also commissioned the development of an evidence base to support domestic retrofit.

NTCA held our inaugural Green Economy Summit in June 2021 ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) together with Newcastle University.  Featuring a keynote address by Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth at the time, the Summit was a must-attend for anyone with an interest in our climate challenge, and the significant opportunity it represents for the region. The opening keynote was followed by three parallel workshops on themes closely aligned to current government priorities and the levelling up agenda. These workshops set out the underlying trends, new investments and future priorities for clean energy and offshore wind, future mobility and net zero transport, and rural net zero.

NTCA launched our Zero Carbon, Zero Poverty Crowdfund in July 2021.  In line with Mayor Driscoll’s manifesto commitment to work with communities to tackle the climate emergency and food poverty, and the Combined Authority’s work towards a net zero transition, the theme of the third Spacehive funding round was ‘Zero-carbon, Zero-poverty’.  The Mayor’s fund funded projects that were brought forward by the community. This could be anything from a community garden, to supporting the reduction of food waste, or a community food club.

The NTCA Cabinet Paper in September 2021 provides an update on the substantial investment and collaboration undertaken by the North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) to reduce carbon emissions and create green jobs and Cabinet agreed a further allocation of £4m to support offshore wind.

NTCA sponsored the Bring it On: Net Zero North East – Engineering Your Future Event and launched the Mayor’s Schools Climate Challenge in October 2021.   The Mayor’s Schools Climate Challenge sees NTCA supporting programmes to engage children and young adults ages 8 to 19.  It will support our children and young people to explore key climate change themes, consider how we might work towards net zero and engage in STEM and Digital subjects.   This innovative work will draw upon existing best practice and help to generate interest in climate change for young residents through the lens of STEM and Digital subjects.

The NTCA Cabinet Paper in January 2022 provides a further update on the approach NTCA is taking to responding to the Citizens’ Assembly’s recommendations around energy, housing and skills and allocates £1 million to support these initiatives, indicatively comprising £0.8m for a programme of advice and support for businesses to help them reduce their carbon emissions and £0.2m for the development of a business case for a major housing retrofit programme.

Cabinet have also allocated £500,000 to develop the Northumberland Stewardship and Rural Growth Investment Plan and related interventions.  This will put our natural capital and assets at the heart of the approach – recognising the major economic and net-zero opportunity from the rural ‘stewardship’ agenda (including re-wilding, tree-planting and sustainable rural infrastructure), whilst also considering the opportunities for improving existing livelihoods, communities and food security.

NTCA also work with Ashden on an innovative Climate Change Co-Benefits project and we are now commencing work on a Just Transition project with the Energy Democracy Project.

… and more to come.