The West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) plans to tackle climate change have seen it rated as one of the nation’s top performers.
The WMCA was by far the highest ranked combined authority in the country with a score of 89% in a study published by not-for-profit organisation, Climate Emergency UK.
The WMCA’s high score also earned it second place in a league table of all 408 local and combined authorities in the country.
Solihull was the highest ranked metropolitan borough council and fifth in the overall league table, with a score of 85%.
Over the past 18 months, the WMCA has followed up on its bold ambition to become a net zero region by 2041 by producing its first five-year plan, a Natural Environment Plan and a Circular Economy Routemap.
The WMCA’s high rankings by Climate Emergency UK were a direct result of those plans and policies introduced over the last 18 months.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Climate Emergency UK’s scorecard is a great independent endorsement of our #WM2041 net zero work, showing that we’re the most forward-thinking region in the UK on tackling climate change.
“We’re proud of our plans which show a clear and practical way forward, but most importantly, we’re delivering on these plans. Already we have in place wide-ranging commitments to make our transport network greener with over £1bn committed towards fantastic initiatives including 100km of new segregated cycle routes, 50km of bus lanes with priority measures, new railway stations like Aldridge and extended metro infrastructure, and – perhaps most ground breaking of all – the UK’s first very light rail in Coventry.
“Beyond revolutionising and decarbonising transport, we’re investing over £2m to improve the energy efficiency of neighbourhoods (Net Zero Neighbourhood demonstrators) and nearly £1m to help local groups establish green spaces in their local areas (community green grants). We also have plans to retrofit nearly 300,000 homes and a Net Zero Business Pledge to help businesses to cut their carbon emissions.
“But we’re determined to go further and faster, and so we will continue to work across the region, along with central government, to ensure our net zero plans properly tackle the climate emergency.”
Cllr Ian Courts, WMCA portfolio holder for environment and energy and leader of Solihull Council, added: “It’s great to see the WMCA gaining national recognition for this work but it’s important to stress that the whole region deserves credit. We’ve come together to produce the plans and it’s only through this type of collaboration on a region-wide basis that we will be able to achieve our ambition of making the West Midlands greener and more sustainable.”
The full results of Climate Emergency UK’s assessments of all local authorities can be viewed here: https://councilclimatescorecards.uk/
For more information about what the WMCA is doing to tackle climate change, visit https://www.wmca.org.uk/what-we-do/environment-and-energy