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Climate change strategy 2022

Co-benefits and opportunities


A co-benefit is an additional or extra benefit we receive when addressing an issue such as climate change. Considering co-benefits allows multiple priorities, such as inequality, to be addressed at the same time. An example might be an initiative to increase cycling, with a primary objective of reducing carbon emissions. However, cycling will improve health both physical and mental for residents via increased physical activity and improved air quality, in addition to saving money on fuel or bus tickets. 

Tackling climate change can make us healthier, happier and save us money, enabling everyone in Gateshead to thrive.


  • poor air quality contributes to around 40,000 air pollution-related deaths per year in the UK
  • physical inactivity is responsible for 1 in 6 deaths in the UK and costs the UK £7.4 billion annually, including the 900 million to the NHS alone. Active travel can help promote better health by increasing levels of physical activity 
  • poor quality housing costs the NHS £1.4 billion a year, £857 million of which is caused by excess cold


Climate change impacts many groups of people such as the elderly, and those living on low incomes, this increases inequality. We need climate action to address inequality as well as reviewing the effects climate change has on the environment. 


  • low-income households are eight times more likely to live in tidal flood plains than more affluent households
  • 13.4% of households in England (3.8 million people) live in fuel poverty
  • single parent households are most likely to be fuel poor (28% of single parent households are fuel poor)
  • following the energy crisis and a rise in the energy price cap, charity National Energy action predicts that the number of households living in fuel poverty could rise to 6.5 million
  • in England, if you are of an ethnic minority you are more than twice as likely (40% more likely) to live in areas most deprived of green space than white people (14%)

Opportunities examples

Green Economy

Low carbon and renewable energy activities generated £43 billion turnover in 2019, directly employing 209,500 people (full time equivalents).


  • if the average dietary intake in the UK complied with the recommendations of the World Health organisation, a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 17% could be achieved
  • planting woodland can include edible edges to feed local communities with healthy low carbon food
  • cycling in Tyneside prevents 294 series long term health conditions each year and saves 7,500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions


Diverting electrical equipment from landfill to be repaired and tested, before distributing to those who need it most in the community.