Newcastle unveils plan to become world's first 'carbon-neutral' city

A A A

Newcastle upon Tyne, once the smoke-blackened home of ship-building, coal mining and North Sea fishing, is to reinvent itself as a saviour of the environment.

Newcastle upon Tyne, once the smoke-blackened home of ship-building, coal mining and North Sea fishing, is to reinvent itself as a saviour of the environment.

Later this month, the north-eastern city will unveil an ambitious, far-reaching plan to become one of the greenest and cleanest cities in Europe.

The city aims to pioneer hydrogen-fuelled vehicles, tidal power, solar panels, energy-efficient homes and new forests to become the world's first "carbon-neutral" city.

In an irony that environmentalists will relish, Newcastle, once a byword for pollution and heavy industry, believes that by 2025, its residents and businesses will be able to enjoy life without increasing global warming.

The city releases about 1.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, but the council claims that could be cut to zero by upgrading and reshaping the city's infrastructure, housing and energy needs.

Part of the proposals meets a key objective of The Independent on Sunday's "future forests" campaign, to significantly increase the country's tree and forest cover.

Newcastle's "carbon-neutral" initiative will involve supporting attempts to double the size of the region's Great North Forest to 4,000 hectares by 2012, to help offset the city's release of carbon dioxide.

Builders will also be persuaded to plant timber, the city's electrified Metro system will be doubled, tidal- and wave-power stations will be built on the region's rivers and coast, home insulation schemes will be greatly expanded, and the engines in the city's council vehicles will be converted to low-emission liquid petroleum gas, and eventually hydrogen fuel cells.

Jonathan Shopley, the chief executive of the Future Forests initiative, said: "We're in the business of engaging and exciting people to take action on climate change."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Middleweight

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...

Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers