Mixed Findings For North East Cities
A new economic report has revealed a growing North-South divide between UK cities when it comes to environmental sustainability - with Newcastle being outperformed by locations in the South in terms of lower CO2 emissions per person and zero-emission commuting.
According to UK Powerhouse, a report by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economic & Business Research (Cebr), cities in the South have the strongest economies in terms of GVA* and dominate in a number of key indicators relating to sustainability.
The report says Newcastle will see employment levels increase by 1.2% Q1 2021 - the quarter when the transition period in the UK’s current EU Withdrawal agreement is set to have ended.
It reveals however a mixed picture in terms of its environmental credentials.
When it comes to carbon dioxide per capita, the latest figure revealed that Newcastle had reduced its year on year figure by 5.3% putting it in 32ndh place with a figure of 4.4 kt CO2 per person.
There were no locations in the North in the top 10 for the lowest CO2 per person.
Newcastle appears 6th in the league table for the share of low emission transport** at 11%, however it fell to 23rd place for share of population using zero emission transport***.
The report said the share of households with renewable electricity installations in Newcastle was 2%.
Sunderland was ranked second on the list with 7% of households had renewable energy systems installed as of 2017. Additionally, it highlighted that it isn’t only households that are opting to invest in renewable energy. The Nissan factory in Sunderland switched to solar panels in 2016 by installing 19,000 photovoltaic panels. Despite these efforts and a high share of households having renewable electricity installed. It says Sunderland increased its per capita carbon emissions according to the latest data by 8.5%, suggesting that further actions are necessary for the city to reach their carbon goals by 2020.
Expert Opinion“In June, the UK has announced its ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, the first major economy to do so. The ever-more urgent topic of climate change and sustainability has reached the highest level of government and it’s important that business recognise not only the important role they have to play, but also the opportunities that exist.” Victoria Brackett - Group Chief Commercial Officer
All forecasts in this report utilise Cebr’s central scenario. Cebr’s central forecasts are based on the assumption that an amended version of the Brexit withdrawal agreement will form the basis of the future UK – EU relationship. We further assume that a transitional arrangement will be put in place that allows a continuation of the current relationship without any major disruptions until at least 2021. On the immigration policy, we rely on the lower immigration population estimates assuming that a visa system will be implemented for EU nationals, but that the requirements (e.g. the minimum salary, the NHS surcharge payment, the application fees, etc.) would be more relaxed than they currently are for non-EU nationals requiring a visa.
*Gross value added
**Low emission transport include travels by bus/coach, national rail and underground.
***Zero emission transport includes travel by walking or cycling.