ON WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY Sunderland City Council re-iterated its commitment to addressing the international climate crisis on a local level, with a reminder of the city's Climate Emergency Declaration.
Earlier this year Sunderland City Council agreed the Declaration, which outlines environmental ambitions for the city such as reducing carbon emissions and pollution while increasing air quality encouraging recycling and urges residents and businesses to support the declaration and what it represents.
The Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Michael Mordey, said; "We all now realise the devastating environmental impact we as a society are having on the world around us, and are determined to do what we can on a local scale here in Sunderland to tackle what is global issue.
"International events such World Environment Day help remind us all of the environmental challenges faced by our city and the world, and help strengthen our determination and commitment to do what we can as a community to improve things wherever and whenever we can.
"Our Climate Emergency Declaration is our city's statement of environment improvement intent, and we hope people will help us to achieve its long term aims."
The commitments outlined in the Declaration were announced at full council in March, and support the Council's ambition to have a net zero carbon footprint by 2030 and achieve its long-term aim of creating a 'greener and cleaner' living environment for all its residents 20 years ahead of the UK National target.
Sunderland has already made great headway towards achieving its ambitions, having reduced its CO2 emissions between 2005-2016 by 34.2% compared to 31% nationally.
As part of this on-going process, Sunderland City Council continues to invest in improving the city's Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, as road traffic currently contributes to around a third of Sunderland's carbon emissions.
This has already achieved national recognition for the city, with Sunderland judged in a report from renewable energy experts Tonik Energy (https://www.tonikenergy.com/blog/is-your-city-ready-for-electric-vehicles/) to have the best EV charging points per driving licence holder ratio in the UK.
The recent opening of the country's first 350kW fast charging station on Sunderland shows the city as a leader in the fight against road emissions.
Sunderland City Council's Director of People, Communications and Partnerships, Sarah Reed added: "The Council has now made its own Climate Emergency Declaration aspiring to be carbon neutral by 2030, which adds to our existing long-standing carbon reduction activities aiming to make our city a greener and cleaner environment where our communities can prosper."
The council is now developing a refreshed carbon reduction strategy to achieve its new environmental ambition.
A draft will be published in Autumn 2019 available for consultation, with the strategy expected to be adopted by 2020.