Labour’s Zero Carbon City pledge exposed as Greenwash
Newcastle Liberal Democrats have exposed Labour's pre-Paris Agreement zero carbon city pledge as a sham. Suspicious at a total lack of awareness of the pledge within the Council, the Lib Dems challenged the Labour Leader of Council Nick Forbes as to what discussions had taken place before the pledge was made.
Cllr Forbes responded "The pledge simply reflects existing work being done in Newcastle and other Labour-led authorities." Newcastle Lib Dem Environment Spokesman Cllr Gareth Kane said "The leader of Newcastle Council has let the cat out of the bag. This pledge was a cynical exercise to make Labour look as if they were doing something ahead of the Paris Climate Change Meeting. It is clear they never intended to actually do anything about it. Greenwash, pure and simple."
On 23 November, Labour announced that 50 Labour-run Councils had signed a pledge to be zero carbon by 2050, co-ordinated by Shadow DECC Minister Lisa Nandy.
Under Liberal Democrat leadership, Newcastle topped Forum for the Future's Most Sustainable City Index twice in 2009 and 2010, but sustainability was removed from the Council's priorities when Labour took control in 2011.