A £13m boost to fight global warming

Schools in the North have been given more than £13m to ensure they have greener buildings.

Schools in the North have been given more than £13m to ensure they have greener buildings.

The grants announced yesterday by Schools Minister Jim Knight will be used for energy and water saving technology, such as lagging pipes, energy efficient lighting, wind turbines and solar panels.

The money has been made available after last week's Stern report warned of the economic dangers of global warming.

Schools are responsible for around 15% of the public sector greenhouse gas emissions and 2% of the UK total and Ministers are keen to reduce that output.

It is hoped money saved from power bills will be re-invested in the classroom to improve teaching and learning. Funds will also be available for new school kitchens.

Mr Knight said: "We want schools to be fit for the 21st Century. By investing in energy and water conservation, schools can spend more on teaching, equipment and staff . We ask local authorities to prioritise improvements in their education facilities.

"We want schools to lead communities in cutting carbon dioxide emissions and reducing demand on finite natural resources."

In the North-East, County Durham will get the biggest allocation of money, £4.39m, followed by Northumberland on £2.48m and Newcastle on £1.78m. Sunderland gets £1.79m; Gateshead £1.11m; North Tyneside £1.1m, and South Tyneside £860,000.

The Department for Education and Skills also published a Top Ten Tips for Creating Sustainable Schools in the hope of reducing the five million tonnes of CO2 released each year. But the grants available to schools for environmentally-friendly measures is not new money. Instead funds will be re-allocated from other Government programmes, including the Building Schools for the Future project.

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