Our region was at the heart of the industrial revolution, and once again our villages, towns and cities are showing their capacity to innovate and lead the way in a new revolution towards a Net Zero economy.
Across the region, we have declared climate emergencies, we are cutting our carbon emissions, and considering our impact on the environment with every decision that we make.
The North East is already attracting significant investment in helping the rest of the country go green, whether that be through infrastructure to support production of off-shore wind energy, electric vehicles, planting new forests, or world-leading research into new green technologies.
Greater investment and a streamlined process for unlocking funding is essential for us to go further. Between us, we have many projects that are already making a difference - with further investment we can do more, and do it faster.
We have the minds and the capabilities within our communities to make a difference and help protect our planet for us and for future generations. But we need Government to continue equipping regions and local authorities with the resources to play our part.
Delegates from across the world are convening in Glasgow from Sunday for a global summit on the climate emergency.
This is the opportunity for nations to unite, put aside any differences, and focus on something that impacts each and every person on earth.
That COP26 is being held on these shores puts the UK under the microscope. It puts the spotlight on the country in terms of what our Government is doing to implement the decisive and drastic action that is required to protect our planet.
Addressing the climate emergency is everybody’s business. Aspirational speeches and policies looking 40, 30, and 20 years into the future are not enough. Climate change is happening now, our planet is heating up, and if solutions don’t come and attitudes don’t change, it will be too late to undo the damage.
When the crisis facing us all is laid bare over the next two weeks, hopefully that will be the trigger we all need as a springboard towards definitive action.
Cllr Amanda Hopgood, Leader, Durham County Council
Cllr Martin Gannon, Leader, Gateshead Council
Cllr Nick Forbes CBE, Leader, Newcastle City Council
Norma Redfearn CBE, Elected Mayor, North Tyneside Council
Cllr Glen Sanderson, Leader, Northumberland County Council
Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader, South Tyneside Council
Cllr Graeme Miller, Leader, Sunderland City Council
Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor
Kim McGuinness, Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner