A survey has found that residents in the North East are concerned about the impact of local industry on carbon emissions in their area.
While just over a third (36%) believe local industry is doing something to reduce its carbon emissions, nearly half (44%) don’t know what steps industry is taking to improve its environmental performance.
Sarah Green, regional director of the Confederation of British Industry, said: “Industry is working hard to tackle climate change, and provide goods and services to consumers to help them reduce their carbon emissions.
“A lot of investment has been going into North East industry to achieve these aims. For example, the first electric vehicle available to the mass-market will be produced in Sunderland’s Nissan battery plant.”
The study, launched this week at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, was commissioned by the Energy Saving Trust and ClimateNE, a body which works across the region to tackle climate change.
Steve Hunter, head of region for the Energy Saving Trust in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “The North East is home to many industries, so it is understandable that people have concerns about the impact their work has on the environment.
“However, everyone needs to remember that they shouldn’t just be concerned about the effect industry might create – they should look to themselves and see what else they could do to help affect change.”
The survey also found that nearly half of people from the North East aim to be as environmentally friendly as they can in their day-to-day lives.
Of those surveyed, 63% claim to leave their cars at home and are choosing to use their bike or take public transport when making local trips. Nine out of 10 are also cutting back on what they throw away when it comes to items such as clothes or food.
The report is the first area-specific survey of public attitudes towards green behaviour across the region. A total of 1,468 adults were surveyed in County Durham; Darlington; Gateshead; Hartlepool; Middlesbrough; Newcastle; North and South Tyneside; Northumberland; Redcar and Cleveland; Stockton-on-Tees and Sunderland.
According to the research, Northumberland is the green capital of the North East, with seven out of 10 (72%) claiming to be as environmentally friendly in most or everything they do. This compares to just one in five (21%) in Newcastle.
However, people living in Newcastle are most likely to get on their bike or use public transport for local journeys (79%) compared to just six in 10 (57%) of people in North Tyneside, Northumberland, and Redcar and Cleveland.
Adrian Hilton, ClimateNE co-ordinator, said: “The North East is already in a strong position, with hundreds of innovative and inspirational projects taking place across the region and the 12 local authorities have demonstrated their commitment to tackle climate change by being the first group of councils in Europe to sign up to the EU’s Covenant of Mayors.”