WMCA seeks reduction in carbon emissions by 2022

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has set new climate change targets to reduce carbon emissions across the region, including a 36 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2022.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, welcomed the targets as the ‘next important step’ to a having credible plan to deal with the region’s climate emergency, saying that the targets are intended to drive rapid action from businesses, local government and citizens in the region to reduce their emissions.

A proposed target of reaching net-zero emissions no later than 2041 has been set independently, based on scientific evidence from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change. There has also been a shorter term target of a 69 per cent reduction by 2027, on top of the 36 per cent aim.

The financial cost of a transition to a zero carbon economy is estimated to be up to two per cent of GDP, equivalent to £40 billion for the West Midlands over the period to 2041. Meeting a net-zero target any sooner would require much more investment on top of that.

Street said: “It’s going to be tough, but we have to act fast. Setting these carbon targets is the next important step in our plan to deal with the climate emergency. We have a bigger challenge than Liverpool or Manchester because of our industrial heritage, but we also have a bigger opportunity to develop our low carbon businesses and create new jobs.

“Jaguar Land Rover’s investment in the Castle Bromwich factory to build the new all-electric Jaguar XJ is a brilliant example of what can be done to tackle climate change while creating well-paid jobs here in the region. Climate change is an issue which will affect future generations, and we must get on with delivering a serious plan to tackle it.”