Gateshead Community Climate Alliance
What is the Gateshead Community Climate Alliance?
Gateshead Council declared a climate emergency in May 2019, with a target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
Several environmental organisations in Gateshead were concerned that it was (at that point) difficult to find out what the council’s intentions were following the declaration. We wanted to make sure that their actions supported their words. Some piecemeal approaches were made and meetings were set up, but there was no coordination and it was not clear what the role of each of their meetings was.
So, Transition West Gateshead (TWiG) http://transitionwestgateshead.org/ called a meeting for local small volunteer-led community groups and environmental campaigning groups to come together and discuss the idea of an alliance. This alliance would be to coordinate and build on current relationships with Gateshead Council and other bodies, and act as a “critical friend” – a monitoring and pressure group to ensure that action is taken on the Climate Emergency declaration.
Progress so far:
The first meeting was held on 15th October 2020 and we have had 3 subsequent full meetings. Around 30 people have been involved so far and we have another 10 who are interested in getting involved. They come from a wide range of organisations including campaigns, local community centres, church groups, small community interest companies, local environmental improvement groups as well as individuals from the community. We have agreed 4 principal approaches for the Alliance;
- Support Council
- Challenge Council
- Reach out to other groups and communities
- Gain strength and information from other groups.
And we have begun work on actions needed on the following issues;
- Green spaces/trees
- Food systems
We will also be looking more widely than this in the future.
GCCA also had a joint action in Tree Week when several member organisations planted over 100 trees around the borough.
The alliance has a steering group as well as a team which meets regularly with officer representatives of Gateshead Council to raise issues and gain information.
Following discussions with similar alliances around the country we have so far remained as an informal umbrella group rather than taking on any formal structure of our own.
The following organisations have agreed to be listed as a supporting organisation of Gateshead Community Climate Alliance, whose aims are the following:
- Act as a “critical friend” to ensure ambitious action on the Climate Emergency by Gateshead Council and other bodies.
- Coordinate with all relevant community and campaigning groups on demands for action on the Climate Emergency.
- Be a forum for generating ideas, sharing resources and working together on Gateshead climate issues.
- Join forces to campaign, raise awareness and develop practical community actions, with each group having its own approach and focus.
Transition West Gateshead
Strathmore Road Methodist Church
Newcastle/Gateshead Cycling Campaign
Gateshead Green Party
Our Villages Crawcrook and Greenside
Gateshead Football Club Foundation
Our Lives Gateshead CIC
Gibside Community Farm
North East Labour for a Green New Deal
If you are part of a community group or an individual based in Gateshead and would like to join the Alliance then please email us to get involved. We are keen to get as many people involved possible as then we will have a greater chance of impacting real change.