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NEECCo Statement May 2023

With the emergence and launch of the two sub-regional Local/ Combined Authority led initiatives Net Zero North East England and Net Zero Tees Valley, the North East England Climate Coalition(NEECCo) has revised its purpose and focus for the next twelve months.

Established in 2019, with the vision of ‘Becoming England’s Greenest region’, NEECCo is a cross-sector partnership bringing the region together to tackle climate emergency, reverse ecological collapse and deliver an urgent and just transition. The creation of NEECCo sought to accelerate the North East’s contribution, on behalf of future generations, to the urgent, radical and at scale response demanded by the global climate emergency.

By catalysing climate and environmental initiatives that could only be accomplished regionally and beyond individual sectors, NEECCo aimed to ignite a passion in everyone to build a brighter and sustainable future.

Four years on, NEECCo has much to be proud of. Almost 800 organisations and individuals backed NEECCo’s aims and made their own pledges to assist the North East with ‘Becoming England’s Greenest Region’.

Over 80 partner organisations have joined and contributed to Planning Groups across the themes of Built Environment, Retrofitting Homes, Agriculture and Land Use, Waste and Resources, Sustainable Finance, Indicators, and Public Engagement. 

NEECCo lent its support to the establishment of number of regional, sub-regional or pan-regional projects and campaigns including Tees Valley Net Zero, the North East Community Forest, the Ouseburn Climate Challenge, Enrich the Earth (Peat Free Trials), Counting Carbon in North East England, Nature North, VCSE Sector Food Waste Group, IPPR Environmental Justice Commission, COP26 Regional Roadshows and Carbon Stories, and Zero Carbon Schools.

In addition, NEECCo has supported environmental sustainability work across a number of key sectors including the development of the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System’s Sustainability Strategy, and the Going Green Together programme to enable VCSE sector organisations to take climate action organisationally and with their people and communities.  Both of these programmes are considered to be national exemplars, the learning from which will be shared and replicated across the country.

NEECCo is hosted by Voluntary Organisations’ Network North East (VONNE) and has 21 strategic partners across the public, private and VCSE sectors covering environmental, youth, education, health, trade unions, business organisations, utility companies and the university sector. The work of NEECCo has been funded and supported by VONNE, NENC Integrated Care System, North of England Commissioning Support, Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, Co. Durham Community Foundation, the Environment Agency, Sage plc, North of Tyne Combined Authority, Northern Powergrid and NatWest.

With the emergence of the two sub regional initiatives, Net Zero North East England and Net Zero Tees Valley, the NEECCo strategic partners and funders have agreed to shift their purpose and focus for the next 12 months.  The work and membership of the NEECCo established Planning Groups has either been concluded or in the case of the Built Environment, Retrofitting Homes, Agriculture and Land Use, Waste and Resources groups, will re-align and work to support the two sub-regional partnerships.  The NEECCo strategic partners will continue to meet on a quarterly basis to enable a broad range of partners, sectors and stakeholders to provide support, encouragement and challenge Net Zero North East England and Net Zero Tees Valley and act as a sounding board or possible incubator of North East region wide projects, working closely with the two sub-regional initiatives.

NEECCo no longer has a dedicated comms resource, therefore this website will no longer be updated with events and regional news. Our ask@neecco.org.uk email address will still be monitored and any information sent to us will be forwarded on to Net Zero North East and Net Zero Tees Valley.

Sir Paul Ennals, Chair of NEECCo commented:

The creation of the two sub-regional initiatives marks the achievement of one of NEECCo’s key aims – to engage the political leadership of the region with their other key partners in the fight of our generation. NEECCo and our members will provide all possible support to the two new partnerships as they seek to tackle the climate crisis, the ecological collapse, and the need for a just transition.”

Heidi Mottram CBE, Mayor Jamie Driscoll and Cllr Graeme Miller, joint chairs of Net Zero North East England, added:

“NEECCo has made a significant contribution in both highlighting the urgency to tackle climate change, and harnessing the commitment and expertise to address it that exists in North East England. The coalition’s support for our new partnership approach in Net Zero North East England is a huge boost for what we want to achieve. We’re looking forward to working across all sectors in the years ahead on this vital agenda, and I know our region has so much to offer.”

NEECCo would like to take this opportunity to thank all our partners, funders and collaborators who have enabled our collective achievements thus far.  We look forward to continuing to work with you and alongside Net Zero North East England and Net Zero Tees Valley to ensure that the North East continues to address the climate emergency, ecological collapse and the just transition with ambition and urgency.