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Gateshead Council highlights digital in climate emergency plan

23/02/21

Mark Say Managing Editor

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Gateshead Council has highlighted the use of digital technology as a key element of its environmental roadmap, set to be discussed by councillors this week.

USB cable against grass

Its Climate Emergency Action Plan will be discussed by the council’s cabinet today, and if adopted will commit it to a series of measures to sharply reduce its carbon emissions.

The council has promoted the plan in advance, highlighting three key elements that include expanding the use of digital technology to reduce the need for staff to travel and minimise the use of paper.

While the document provides no detail on how this will be done, it lists it among the measures for implementation in the short term.

It also points to the use of digital route planning software to minimise the distance travelled by council vehicles when providing services.

Other key points include increasing the use of solar energy and heat from ground and mine water heat pumps, and increasing the use of electric and other low carbon vehicles in the council’s fleet.

The statement from Gateshead said the plan will be embedded in all areas of its work, with politicians and chief officers taking responsibility for rapidly reducing its carbon emissions.

Huge amount happening

Council Leader Martin Gannon said: “There is already a huge amount going on, from expanding the use of digital technology to enable staff to work from home and reduce the number of work journeys by car, by developing new technologies to extract heat from the mine water that is flowing under Gateshead, and by working with Northern Gas Networks on the development of hydrogeon as a heat source in people's homes.

“There is a great deal more to do but plans such as this will help us to know the way we need to travel. We’ll be looking to others to join us on that journey and help us to create a zero carbon future in Gateshead.” 

Gateshead declined a climate emergency in May 2019 and committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Image from iStock, Maxshot

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