Closure of North East England Climate Coalition

Author: Amy Coates

The decision has been made to close North East England Climate Coalition (NEECCo) following our funding coming to an end and the development of Net Zero North East England and Net Zero Tees Valley.

Launched in 2019, and hosted by VONNE, NEECCo was a cross-sectoral coalition, created as our regions initial response to the urgent need to address the climate emergency, risk of ecological collapse and the need for a just transition to net zero. NEECCo has much to be proud of. Almost 800 organisations and individuals backed NEECCo’s aims and made their own pledges to assist the North East with ‘Becoming England’s Greenest Region’.

Over 80 partner organisations joined and contributed to Planning Groups across the themes of Built Environment, Retrofitting Homes, Agriculture and Land Use, Waste and Resources, Sustainable Finance, Indicators, and Public Engagement. 

NEECCo lent its support to the establishment of number of regional, sub-regional or pan-regional projects and campaigns including Tees Valley Net Zero, the North East Community Forest, the Ouseburn Climate Challenge, Enrich the Earth (Peat Free Trials), Counting Carbon in North East England, Nature North, VCSE Sector Food Waste Group, IPPR Environmental Justice Commission, COP26 Regional Roadshows and Carbon Stories, and Zero Carbon Schools.

In addition, NEECCo has supported environmental sustainability work across a number of key sectors including the development of the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System’s Sustainability Strategy, and the Going Green Together programme to enable VCSE sector organisations to take climate action organisationally and with their people and communities.  Both of these programmes are considered to be national exemplars, the learning from which will be shared and replicated across the country.

In a recent statement, Sir Paul Ennals, Chair of NEECCo wrote, ‘As a partnership, whilst we have not succeeded in our initial main aim of establishing a strong multi-agency partnership (including political leadership) across the 12 local authorities of the north east, we have achieved much. We played a key role in bringing Net Zero North East England into being across the NEMCA area, and we supported the development of Net Zero Tees Valley. We have stimulated a series of planning groups across the region, which we have bequeathed to NZNEE. We have supported a bewildering array of partnership projects, bringing together partners from different sectors to work together in the movement to tackle climate change, developing datasets, signposting individuals and organisations to sources of expertise, and hosted events.’

VONNE’s environmental work will continue through our Going Green Together programme, and we will engage with the two sub-regional partnerships where possible, to ensure the VCSE sector has a voice within these important spaces. 

The work of NEECCo has been funded and supported by VONNE, NENC Integrated Care System, North of England Commissioning Support, Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, Co. Durham Community Foundation, the Environment Agency, Sage plc, North of Tyne Combined Authority, Northern Powergrid and NatWest.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our partners and supporters for all of the contributions made to our joint work, and for promoting a cross-sectoral approach to tackling climate change.