Key Challenges


The Northwest has a large ecological footprint, which the Regional Economic Strategy and Regional Spatial Strategy aim to address. These strategies stress the need to reduce and where necessary adapt to the effects of climate change, deal with dereliction; improve air and water quality; manage the fabric of our urban and rural landscapes; protect wildlife; increase tree cover; and find more sustainable ways of dealing with waste.  Finding ways to solve these problems revealed mechanisms for the region to achieve economic gain through developing our significant Environmental Technologies sector and supporting business to innovate and become more resource efficient.

In Europe and the rest of the World there is a drive towards low carbon, resource efficient living and working and this presents both opportunities and a challenge for our region. The Northwest is one of the first region’s to develop a Sustainable Consumption and Production Action Plan. Sitting alongside the  regional Climate Change Action Plan 2010-2012, the Sustainable Energy Strategy and the updated Regional Waste Strategy, the regional partners worked together with the wider public, private and third sector to achieve a more productive, resource efficient, low carbon and well adapted region by 2020.

Everything the Northwest uses, produces and consumes impacts on our ecological footprint and our economy. It is a significant challenge to become a leader in sustainable solutions and influence our consumption and use of resources whilst also focusing on the twin objectives of reducing regional greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to those effects of climate change which are now unavoidable.  There are many different ways to achieve this; our regional strategies demonstrated how different sectors across the region could act to address these challenges head on, but also achieving wider economic and social objectives.

The regional strategies, when taken together, formed and framework for action and investment to provide regional leadership on: energy; climate change; sustainable production & consumption; environmental technologies sector development; and environmental quality. The framework focuses on:

  • increasing energy security;
  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions and business risks;
  • Transforming resource use, with the region consuming sustainably
  • Businesses would provide resource-efficient, low carbon products and services
  • Waste, when unavoidably produced, is seen as a valuable resource 
  • The Northwest’s Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services sector (LCEGS) is providing sustainale solutions; and
  • promoting strategic land regeneration

Regional Economic Strategy 2006 (6.0 MB)

North West Sustainable Energy Strategy Full 2006 (541.6 KB)

Regional Waste Strategy 2010 (7.3 MB)

Assessment Of Achievable NW Carbon Savings 2010 (988.4 KB)

Adaption Impacts And Responses Key Sectors 2009 (5.1 MB)