Sunderland is focussed on its drive towards a low carbon future, as leaders renew their commitment to a national sustainability pledge.

Leaders from Sunderland City Council have renewed the UK100 pledge, sharing a declaration of commitment to combat the climate crisis and put in place plans to reach the goal of net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 for council operations and 2040 as a city.

UK100 is a network for locally elected leaders who recognise their responsibility to tackle the climate emergency and avoid the worst climate change impacts by accelerating the transition to a Net Zero society.

Bringing together local authorities across the country to share knowledge, collaborate, and petition the UK government with their collective powers, UK100 supports decision-makers in their transition to becoming net zero by advocating to the UK government in order to accelerate the delivery of local climate action.

Sunderland has already set out its commitment to tackle the global climate change emergency, having developed a Low Carbon Framework with representatives from organisations across the city to collectively drive down emissions.

The council also has its own Low Carbon Action Plan, which sets out how the local authority itself will become carbon neutral by 2030.

These innovative green initiatives led to Sunderland being recognised by the international climate research provider CDP as an A-List city for environmental action.

The success of the Low Carbon Framework relies on the collaboration of partners and individuals to achieve the shared goal of becoming a dynamic, healthy, vibrant and carbon neutral city.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re absolutely committed to doing our bit in Sunderland to take action on climate change, and to work with partner businesses and our residents to support them to be more sustainable too.

“Recommitting to this pledge is a clear statement of intent that we intend to deliver against, working with our partners to achieve.”

South Tyneside and Sunderland’s NHS Foundation Trust is one of the organisations that helped to develop the Low Carbon Framework, committing to investing in areas such as greener energy sources and electric vehicles to create a more eco-friendly environment across the Trust.

Ken Bremner, Chief Executive of South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Reducing our carbon footprint is one of our key priorities and of significant benefit to our patients, staff and the communities that we serve.

“We are committed to creating a more eco-friendly environment across our Trust by focussing on how we can be more sustainable in our actions and have already started investing in areas such as greener energy sources and electric vehicles.

“Working closely with our partners and stakeholders we can deliver more sustainable reductions in our carbon emissions and fully embrace our role as a responsible employer.

“We are proud to support a city-wide approach to carbon reduction through the Low Carbon Framework and welcome the opportunity to work together and share experiences across Sunderland to help us achieve our goals.”

Christopher Hammond, Network Membership Director of UK100, said: ‘’We’re thrilled to welcome the leader of Sunderland City Council to UK100’s network.

“By signing UK100’s Net Zero Pledge and committing to bold targets, Sunderland City Council has demonstrated that it is facing these challenges and playing a decisive role in tackling climate change ahead of the National Government’s target.’’