A 100% electric ‘Carbon Battle Bus’ rolled into the Tees Valley this week, just 24 hours after the region was selected by the Government to lead the UK’s net zero ambitions.
The bus visited Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium for an event to raise awareness of the Tees Valley’s net zero initiatives and opportunities as part of its designation as the UK’s premier net zero project.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen met delegates at the event, which came to the area as part of Planet Mark’s Zero Carbon Tour travelling across the country ahead of the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow later this year.
The event saw presentations highlighting a number of schemes taking place, including Net Zero Teesside’s carbon capture, utilisation and storage power plant at Teesworks; Northern Gas Networks which is testing hydrogen as a potential alternative to natural gas in households, and Hartlepower.
There was also a session highlighting what net zero carbon actually means, the significance of the COP26 summit and the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign which encourages businesses and organisations to pledge to reach net zero before 2050.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: ‘Just yesterday we were selected to be the UK’s premier net zero hub and to create the country’s first decarbonised industrial cluster. We are the go-to place to green and clean technologies of the future.
‘From Net Zero Teesside’s carbon capture plant to trialling hydrogen as a vehicle power source and in domestic supplies, we have a huge number of clean energy projects in development across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool right now. All of these are helping to create the good-quality, well-paid jobs of the future and a cleaner, healthier and safer region for our communities.
‘It was great to be part of this event, to showcase a small amount of what we’re doing here and inspire our businesses to reduce their carbon emissions too by telling them of the benefits that brings.
‘They had the opportunity to get practical advice and, as one of the ways we’re driving innovation is through collaboration, they also got the chance for some valuable networking. By stopping here on the way to COP26, we’ve been recognised as an area that’s spearheading the UK’s clean energy initiatives and, as more of our businesses work together to go net zero, we’ll only be putting our area on the map further.’