South Tyneside Council declared a climate change emergency on 18 July 2019.
We are implementing strategies that will bring about real change.
We aim to:
- make the Council carbon neutral by 2030
- move to cleaner, greener, renewable sources of energy
- enhance our natural environment
For information on what climate change is and why it's important, visit:
OECD: Climate change - consequences of inaction
Met Office: What is climate change?
GOV.UK: Climate change explained
Climate Change Committee: What is climate change?
Our commitment to become carbon neutral
South Tyneside residents, businesses and organisations have asked us to act on climate change, with 99% of people who responded to our public consultation saying they are concerned about the impacts of climate change.
We have committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 to protect South Tyneside.
This is to:
- support our local economy and rates of employment, to make us resilient and to embrace innovation and opportunity
- improve and protect residents' health and reduce pressure on the NHS
- protect South Tyneside's long-term growth and provide the best future we can for our children and grandchildren
- protect our countryside and wildlife
- reduce climate inequality and support the most disadvantaged in our community
We believe that:
- We have the opportunity to be world leaders, driving forward the North East's Green Industrial Revolution. For more information, see North East Local Enterprise Partnership: Low carbon and climate change strategy.
- We have a responsibility to protect countries most affected by climate change, who have contributed the least to the problem.
- Protecting the environment has cross-cutting, social benefits for health, education, security, the economy and overall happiness.
- Acting to reduce the impact of climate change can help financially - see Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit: Climate change - costs and benefits.
What we are doing about climate change
To help limit the impact of climate change, we:
- declared a climate change emergency.
- are taking all necessary steps to make the Council carbon neutral by 2030 (25% reduction by March 2023 and a 50% reduction by March 2025).
- are a champion for a carbon neutral future for South Tyneside. This includes using our advocacy role to influence actions that promote carbon reductions, across all our communities and the region.
- asked the Leader and Chief Executive of the Council to write to the government to pass the necessary legislation, and provide the rights and resources needed to deliver our climate change goals.
- created a climate change strategy and action plan.
- prepare a report for full Council every year, setting out performance against agreed targets and recommending any changes to the published action plan.
- make sure that all Council strategic decisions, policies and strategies are in line with the move to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
- produced a Green Economic Recovery Plan.
What we have done to reduce our emissions
Our pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030 refers to the carbon emissions from:
- our gas and electricity usage
- our fleet's fuel usage
What we have done to reduce emissions:
- Delivering a significant building rationalisation programme
- Installed solar panels to a number of Council buildings
- Delivered a significant improvement programme of LED upgrades to street lighting, with continued capital investment taking place
- Building modernisation and retrofit improvement programmes
- Installed Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units at some of our highest consuming sites
What we have done to protect our environment and tackle climate change
We are committed to leading by example and driving investment in a green future.
Our strategy goes beyond our direct carbon emissions.
What we have done to protect our environment and tackle climate change:
- embedding social value in procurement
- increased the amount of electric car charging points
- planting around 3,000 trees a year
- improved the energy efficiency of residential accommodation
- flood alleviation schemes in Monkton and Cleadon
Our future plans include:
- The Viking Energy Network Jarrow: A renewable energy scheme that will harness low-grade heat from the River Tyne to heat a number of Council buildings
- The Hebburn Renewable Energy Scheme: The scheme will use minewater from former coal seams to provide heat to a large leisure facility and a high rise residential block, with future network expansion opportunities
- The Holborn Renewable Energy Network: An energy scheme that will aim to generate renewable energy, by using heat from abandoned flooded mines and the River Tyne
- The Middlefields Energy Scheme: The scheme will provide on-site renewable electricity energy generation to key Council buildings
- The continuation of our phased capital investment programme, focused on upgrading old and inefficient street lights to LEDs
- Saltmarsh restoration: A project to recreate rare habitats such as saltmarshes of the River Tyne, working with the Tyne Estuary Partnership
- The Healing Nature Project: A project to restore priority habitats in five wildlife sites in the Borough, working with the Durham Wildlife Trust
- An awareness and engagement programme to increase understanding of climate change across the Borough, and highlight what can be done to reduce its worst effects
For more information about what are doing and what we plan to do about climate change, read our climate change strategy and action plan.
Energy efficiency of residential accommodation
The reports below outline what we have done to improve the energy efficiency of residential accommodation in the South Tyneside area.
South Tyneside Council's Home Energy Conservation Act Progress Report 2017
South Tyneside Council's Home Energy Conservation Act Progress Report 2015
South Tyneside Council's Home Energy Conservation Act Further Report 2013
Protection against flood and coastal change
Find out more about what the Council is doing to make sure South Tyneside is protected against flood and coastal changes.
For more information see CIWEM: Adapting for Tomorrow's Environment.
How climate change will affect South Tyneside
Climate change will affect South Tyneside due to:
Local weather changes
Local weather will keep changing, meaning the Borough will be likely to see:
- more severe and frequent flooding
- summer droughts and heatwaves
- more intense and frequent storms, especially in the winter
This will effect our:
- transport, with increasing road and rail disruption
- buildings, including schools, hospitals and businesses
- health and wellbeing
- animals and plants
- food quality and availability
For more information, see Met Office: Effects of climate change.
Global changes will have a local impact.
It is likely that South Tyneside will be affected by:
- Food shortages
As a changing climate and overexploited land affect global food production, South Tyneside may see more empty supermarket shelves and fresh produce is likely to decrease in quality and nutritional value.
- Mass immigration
An estimated 1 billion climate refugees will be forced northwards by 2050.
- Further pandemics
Degraded natural environments increase the likelihood of new virus outbreaks around the world.
- Financial problems and unemployment
The cost of inaction is greater than the cost of action, with poorer regions being the worst hit.
- Loss of land to sea-level rise
See Climate Central: Land projected to be below 10-year flood level in 2050
The impact on South Tyneside will depend on how quickly and effectively we act.
How you can help
There is a lot you can do about climate change.
For more information on nine steps you can take to help with climate change, visit Imperial College London: 9 things you can do about climate change.
To help you understand your personal carbon footprint and how to reduce it, there are some free apps and websites you can use:
There are some social media accounts that provide information and advice:
- Hubbub (@hellohubbub)
- Love Food Hate Waste (@lfhw_uk)
- EarthRise Studio (@earthrise)
- Possible (@wearepossible)
Opportunities in South Tyneside
There are lots of opportunities in South Tyneside for you to support the local environment and lower your carbon footprint.
Switch off your engine
You should turn your car engine off when you're waiting for more than a few seconds, for example:
- when waiting outside a school / business / hospital, or other place where you're picking up or dropping someone off
- when waiting at a level crossing
Keeping your car engine running unnecessarily when you are stationary:
- pollutes the environment
- costs you money
- is illegal if you are on a public road
Eat for the planet
How you can eat for the planet:
- Waste less
- Eat more vegetables
- Eat seasonally
- Reduce packaging
- Think 'quality not quantity' with meat
Things in South Tyneside:
- Apply for an allotment
- Zero-waste refill shops
- Zilch Weigh House (South Shields)
- Community food forest
- Foraging with Williby Rocs
- Fighting food waste
- FoodCycle community meals (Newcastle, Gateshead, Durham)
- Olio food sharing app
- Lucie's Pantry social supermarket
- Sea Change cafe
For more information on eating for the planet, see:
What you can do to travel sustainably:
- Walk more
- Cycle more
- Take public transport
- Car share
- Go electric
- Drive less
- Fly less
Things in South Tyneside:
- Electric car charging points
- Information on cycling in South Tyneside
- Information on public transport
- Free guided walks - see Walking For Health: South Tyneside Walking Works Wonders
- Tyneside Outdoors youth bike sessions - see Tyneside Outdoors: Get involved
- Car sharing - see Liftshare
For more information on sustainable travel see BBC Future: How are daily travel harms the planet.
Protect our wildlife
What you can do to protect wildlife:
- Add greenery to your yard, garden, windowsills and balconies
- Go chemical free
- Volunteer in local parks
Things in South Tyneside:
- Love South Tyneside
- Build a community garden
- Take part in a litter pick
- Become a street champion
- Volunteer in our parks
- Walks and wildlife sites
- Eco arts and crafts with Williby Rocs
For more information on enhancing your greenspaces, see:
RSPB: Green living
RSPB: Nature on your doorstep
RHS: Garden inspiration
National Trust: How to garden in small spaces
What you can do to waste less:
- Reduce, reuse and recycle
- Buy less
- Choose second hand
- Mend and repair
- Avoid single-use items
Things in South Tyneside:
- Home composting
- Groundworks recycling shop
- Facebook: Sunderland and South Shields Cloth Nappy Library
- Facebook: Plastic Free South Tyneside
- Facebook: The Party Exchange - South Tyneside - Share, sell and reuse party decorations
- Zero-waste refill shops
- TerraCycle recycling points
- The Medicine Packet Recycling Programme (East Boldon, South Shields)
- The Bread Bag Recycling Programme (South Tyneside District Hospital)
- The Crisp Packet Recycling Scheme (Marsden Road Health and Wellbeing Centre)
- Free Recycling Programmes
What you can do to save energy:
- Waste less
- Be energy smart
- Insulate your home
- Choose a green energy tarrif
- Install renewable energy technology
For more information on how to be energy smart, see:
How you can prepare
Check with your insurance company what damage you are covered for.
If your area is classed at being at risk of flooding, please mention this when organising your insurance.
If you are not sure if your area is classed at being at risk of flooding, please contact us on 0191 427 7000.
For more information on insuring your property against weather damage like flooding, contact the Association of British Insurers.
Read more about flooding.
Advice for businesses
Climate change can affect your business. This could be caused by:
- extreme temperatures
- extreme rainfall
- reduced water availability
- power disruption
You can be prepared by:
- having a business continuity plan
- conducting a climate change risk assessment. For more information see UKCIP
For more information on how to prevent an emergency see emergency situations.
For more about adapting your business to a changing climate visit Met Office: Adaptation.
Latest news and updates
South Tyneside Trialling Electric Bin Lorry - 26 January
Flood Protection Measures Set to Begin - 23 November
Update on Hebburn Renewable Energy Scheme - 10 October
On Track for Improved Sustainable Travel - 4 October
Network Extension to Boost Carbon Savings - 19 August
Prestigious Green Flags for South Tyneside Parks - 26 July
Climate Change Strategy in Council Spotlight - 14 July
'Greener' Meals on the Menu - 21 June
Call for Action on World Ocean Day - 8 June
Cutting the Cost in Bulky Waste Trial - 22 March
Council has Designs on Flagship Renewable Energy Centre - 21 March
New Vehicles Hitting the Streets of South Tyneside - 8 March
Green Revolution to take Centre Stage at Jobs Event - 4 March
Taking Charge in World First Energy Scheme - 2 March
Bigger and Better Bins in Fight Against Litter - 1 March
Council Seeks Views on Air Quality - 28 February
A Ceremonial Tree for the Queen's Jubilee - 24 February
Carbon-Cutting Scheme to Enter Next Phase - 23 February
Thousands of New Trees for a Greener South Tyneside - 18 February
Driving Forward a Greener Future - 15 February
Action to be Taken to Protect Coastline - 14 February
South Tyneside Makes Ocean Recovery Declaration - 21 January
Carbon-Cutting Schemes Close to Completion - 30 December
Go Green and Recycle - 21 December
South Tyneside Backs Flood Action Week - 25 November
Plan to Encourage Active Travel on Agenda - 24 November
Digging Deep for the Environment - 12 November
Keeping Faith in a Greener Future - 10 November
Council Drives Forward Response to Climate Change - 29 October
South Tyneside Residents have the Power to do More - 25 October
Schoolchildren to Draw up Vision of the Future - 21 October
Leader's Pledge for Carbon Neutrality - 21 October
Summit to Strengthen Council's Commitment to Sustainable South Tyneside - 15 October
Green Scheme to Make Waves at Jarrow Pool - 26 August
Primrose Goes Green - 3 August
Creating a Coastline More Resilient to Climate Change - 3 August
Council Shortlisted for Climate Response Award - 2 August
Council on Target with Carbon Cutting - 15 July
Taking Action on Climate Change - 23 June
First Phase of Major Carbon-Cutting Scheme Underway - 20 May
Seaside Award for Sandhaven - 14 May
Tree-mendous Project that can Bear Fruit - 14 May
Green Light for Innovative Energy Scheme - 10 May
Schools to get new weapon in fight against climate change - 7 May
Green Light for UK-First Renewable Energy Scheme - 29 March
Gearing up for a Greener Borough - 24 March
Switching to a Greener Future - 24 March
Habitat Recovery at Hebburn Riverside - 22 March
Reducing Carbon Footprint by Recycling Rainwater - 26 February
£8m to Cut Carbon - 19 February
Milestone for Minewater Energy Scheme - 28 January
Carbon Cutting Scheme Complete - 28 January
Flood Protection Project Put to the Test - 15 January
Strategy and action plan
Climate change strategy and action plan
'Sustainable South Tyneside 2020-2025' is the Council's climate change strategy and five-year action plan, which covers 11 key themes to bring about carbon neutrality for the Council.
For more information see, Climate Change strategy and action plan