AS CLIMATE change campaigner Greta Thunberg addressed the UN this week, councillors in Darlington were discussing how to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Speakers at a cross-party climate change summit in Darlington's Morton Park Business Centre included Jonathan Mullart from the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy.

Leanne Wilson, innovation and technology officer at the Tees Valley Combined Authority, also addressed the meeting.

The town's summit comes after Darlington Borough Council declared a climate emergency at a meeting of its full council in July.

Councillors agreed to work towards making Darlington council carbon neutral within 30 years, and called on central government to help make this possible.

Councillor Alan Marshall, Cabinet member for Economy and Regeneration, said: "The climate emergency that we declared is a statement of intent as to what the council will do to reduce polluting emissions affecting climate change to a net zero position by 2050.

"The purpose of today, primarily, was a cross-party event to raise awareness of the issues we will face as we address climate change within the borough.

"Since declaring a climate emergency, the council has taken some action to get us some way along the road on the journey we need to make.

"We have advertised for an officer, with relevant experience and skills, to join us, to co-ordinate the work we will need to do and to drive it through.

"Climate change is everybody's responsibility, whether you are a large organisation within the town, down to individual residents.

"The council has a duty to respond to that climate emergency by taking necessary actions, with the agreement of council as a whole, and hopefully to the satisfaction of our residents."

Progress on the climate emergency and the plans for the future will be to be reported back to Full Council every six months, with the next update due early in the new year.