Durham Wildlife Trust is delighted to welcome Paul Brennan, who has represented the North East of England in the European Parliament since 2014, as the new chair of the North East England Nature Partnership (NEENP). The Trust was central to the establishment of the partnership and hosted the partnership’s staff before 2018.
Trust Director, Jim Cokill, said,
‘‘The Nature Partnership allows the Trust to work with a wider range of organisations and get the nature conservation message out to a different audience. Charities, Government agencies, business and local authorities all come together to set the strategy for enhancing the natural environment of our region, showing just how important nature is for the health, well-being and prosperity of the North East. Paul is the ideal person to push that agenda forward.’’
In his role as a MEP, Paul served on two parliamentary committees, the Environment and Public Health Committee and the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. His most recent piece of legislative work was on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry, the outcomes of which included the protection of peat bogs across the EU.
Building on his earlier work with Christian Aid on climate change, Paul has developed a specific area of knowledge pertaining to forestry and the creation of a green jobs economy.
Paul is seeking to recalibrate our approach to our environment in a way that reduces carbon emissions, locks up carbon, increases biodiversity and creates green jobs. The NEENP has a key role, working alongside the Local Enterprise Partnership and the local authorities, in creating a sense of opportunity and excitement around making the North East of England the greenest English region and the best place in the country to live, work, study, bring up children and retire to.
Paul Brannen, the new NEENP Chair said,
‘’We have no more than 12 years to tackle the growing problem of climate change. The good news is that we can do this in a way that generates good quality green jobs and creates a greener environment. An environment that is attractive and accessible, that gets the folks of the North East to lead more active lives which will save the NHS huge sums of money by tackling obesity, diabetes, depression and other health problems via fresh air, exercise and better diets. The environmental challenges we face are immense but we’ve cleaned our once filthy rivers and coastline, we’ve reversed the hole in the ozone layer, so we know where there is a will there is a way”.