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Green Economy Summit

Exploring how our region can lead the charge towards net zero

Published on: 21 June 2021

Newcastle University has joined forces with the North of Tyne Combined Authority to deliver the region’s inaugural Green Economy Summit.

The Summit will spotlight the research strengths of Newcastle and Northumbria Universities in key areas such as energy systems integration and electric vehicles, as well as recent regional investment such as British Volt’s proposed battery Gigaplant at Blyth, in Northumberland.

Opening with a keynote address by the Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, the Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, it takes the form of a half-day virtual event on Wednesday 23 June.

Envisaged as part of the region’s preparation for the UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, taking place in Glasgow in November, the Summit is bringing together global experts, industry leaders, policy makers and community organisations to explore how our region can lead the charge towards net zero carbon and an economy powered by clean jobs and growth. 

The Summit is also intended to highlight potential for inclusive growth represented by the transition to net zero and the importance of building an ecosystem for the region that connects research and innovation to public and private partners, with the associated benefits this brings for the economy, the environment and wider wellbeing.

The driving force of the green industrial revolution

Energy and Climate Change Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “The North East is the driving force of the green industrial revolution in the UK and vital in helping us meet our climate commitments. Newcastle and Northumbria have been at the forefront of the UK’s offshore wind boom and instrumental in the development of hydrogen power and carbon capture technologies – revitalising these industrial heartlands.

“I am delighted to be giving the keynote speech at the Green Economy Summit highlighting how the North East can keep powering our transition to a clean, green future, creating good quality jobs across the region and helping us build back greener.”

The agenda for the Summit sets out the underlying trends, investment needs and opportunities and future priorities for:

  • Clean Energy and Offshore Wind – showing how an ‘arc of innovation’ from Blyth to Tyne and beyond can provide the jobs and skills base for a new generation of energy creation, hi-tech engineering and supply chain development across the region.
  • Future Mobility and Net Zero Transport – showing how we can lead the way in low carbon vehicles, smart mobility solutions and integrated, active travel in a way that builds local supply chains and maximises our rural, urban and coastal geography. 
  • Rural and Natural Assets - how a place-based approach to net zero activity can link rural areas and natural assets to opportunities for green growth.

North of Tyne Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: “The most important goal is to get carbon out of the atmosphere.  That’s a simple aim but is devilishly complicated to achieve.  From how we travel to where we buy our food, everything needs to be looked at. 

“We’re doing our bit at the Combined Authority.  This summit shows the real progress we're making on multiple fronts.  We’re helping businesses reduce their carbon emissions.  We’re investing in innovative renewable technologies.  We're creating thousands of jobs right now.  And we’re helping people skill up for the green jobs of the future. 

"Time has run out, let’s work together to make the change happen.”

Cllr Nick Forbes, NTCA Cabinet Member for Jobs, Innovation and Growth said: “Recovery and growth for our region is at the heart of the Combined Authority’s vision. The summit is an opportunity to showcase our world class research and development, testing and manufacturing expertise.”

Professor Jane Robinson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Engagement and Place at Newcastle University, said: “In the North of Tyne, we are working to create an ecosystem that connects research and innovation to public and private partners that will benefit the economy, the environment and the wider wellbeing of our business and communities. In the run up to COP26, through the summit, we want to demonstrate the potential that exists to deliver sustainable and inclusive growth which contributes to the UK’s ambitious Net Zero agenda.”

By helping to understanding more about the tipping point for investment in the Green economy by businesses, Government, ahead of the next Comprehensive Spending Review, the event proceedings will contribute to the preparation of a report setting out the case for further green investment in the region and our universities.

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