The North East could soon lead the way in climate-friendly land use

An interim steering group has now been established for the North East England Climate Coalition being led by our chair, Sir Paul Ennals.

Membership includes representatives from the region’s three combined authorities, both Local Enterprise Partnerships, both nature partnerships, the integrated care system for the region, which includes hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups, Public Health England, the Environment Agency, Schools North East, Youth Focus North East, the VONNE Climate Action Alliance, representative business bodies and the TUC.

The group, which has been undeterred by the disappointing news earlier this year that the VONNE Climate Action Alliance was unsuccessful in its initial bid for £2.5m as part of the Climate Action Fund, has endorsed a set of preparatory projects based around those of the Government’s Climate Change Committee, including waste, housing and public engagement, which will now take priority.

The most progress has been made on agriculture and land use, led by the North East England Nature Partnership, with additional reference to the urban fringe. And following encouragement from Lord Deben, the chair of the Climate Change Committee, the coalition has formally approached the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to propose that the North East act as a pilot region for the committee’s land use proposals.

The coalition aims to be able to launch its website with details of its plan of action in early August. Meanwhile, the VONNE Climate Action Alliance has also committed to continuing its work and will be in a position to say more about its plans by early August, including how more organisations can get involved.