Independent experts have outlined a five-year roadmap to help the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to achieve their net-zero by 2041 ambitions.
The plan outlines the need to cut carbon emissions by around 35% by 2025.
The plan admits that this target reduction will be touch, but the WMCA believes it is achievable if everyone in the region – councils, businesses, government and members of the public – play their part.
The report also states that more than 21,000 new jobs could be treated over the next five years mostly in new carbon-cutting green industries and technologies. However, significant investment will be required, approximately £4.7bn in the first five years and £15.4bn by 2041.
The Five Year Plan builds on the projects and proposals already drawn up across the West Midlands including:
- Retrofitting thousands of homes to make them more energy-efficient – helping to tackle fuel poverty in the process.
A Zero Carbon Homes Charter setting out how all new homes built in the region from 2025 onwards can be ‘zero carbon ready’.
- The upgrade of the region’s bus fleet to zero-emission vehicles, including Coventry becoming an all-electric bus city by 2025 and 20 new hydrogen-powered double-deckers to run on the new Sprint route from next year.
- An ambitious tree-planting programme including one tree planted for each resident, and plans for a national park, building on the work of Birmingham City University.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands said: ‘This marks a significant step closer towards achieving our goal of net zero by 2041.
‘When we set our target last year, we were honest about the scale of change that lay ahead. But with the publication of this plan, we are also outlining the enormous opportunity that the transition to net-zero presents for our region. Up to 92,000 jobs could be created in new green industries across all our economic sectors – construction, manufacturing, transport, hospitality – all stand to benefit from this transformational effort.
‘This is what makes it so important that our journey to net-zero involves the whole region. Public, private and third sectors will all need to work together, and we have made sure to consult them thoroughly on the creation of this plan. I am ambitious that we can deliver the scale of change required to reach this target and I am excited by the opportunities presented by it.’
Photo Credit – West Midlands Mayor Andy Street planting a cherry tree in Walsall Arboretum, 2020