Today (5 June), World Environment Day, registration has opened for the International Net Zero Leadership conference taking place next month in the West Midlands.
The international event will bring together leaders from across the UK and worldwide, from government, industry and research, to discuss the climate challenge and how best to achieve net zero.
Hosted by Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, those speaking at this key milestone event in the run up to the global COP26 summit in Glasgow later in the year will include: COP26 President, Alok Sharma; Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng; Greater Manchester Mayor, Andy Burnham. Also present will be regional leaders from the across the globe including Mayor of Los Angeles and Chair of the C40 group of global cities, Eric Garcetti, and Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo.
The event will take place on 13 July in Birmingham but will be broadcast online for anyone to attend virtually.
Registration for the conference has now opened coinciding with World Environment Day and anyone wishing to attend can sign up by visiting International Net Zero Local Leadership Conference (https://uk.virtualeventhosts.com/UK100-Netzero/register)
COP26 President Alok Sharma, who will be addressing the conference following the leaders’ summit, said: “Tackling climate change and safeguarding our planet for future generations requires everyone to work together. That is why moments like this matter so much.
“Bringing climate leaders together to discuss the plans that need to be put in place at every level is crucial if we are to keep the target of limiting warming to 1.5C alive.”
UK Business & Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Creating good quality, green jobs across the UK while levelling up the country and reinvigorating our industrial heartlands, including the Midlands, is our highest priority.
“I look forward to speaking at this milestone event next month and discussing with global leaders at all levels on how we can collectively achieve our world-leading targets to tackle climate change and build back better”.
The event is being co-hosted by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and UK100, the UK’s national network of net zero leaders.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The West Midlands and the wider UK is facing a climate emergency, and the UK100 conference will give people the opportunity to hear from leaders as to how this challenge will be overcome.
“As the birthplace of the industrial revolution our region has a moral responsibility to lead the fightback against climate change, and so I am pleased that we are getting on and delivering on our pledge to become a carbon-neutral region by 2041. From retrofitting hundreds of thousands of homes to become a global leader in state-of-the-art battery production, we have ambitious plans to make this happen.
“But we cannot achieve our goals and overcome the climate challenge without significant collaborative and partnership working, and this conference will help us build on that.”
Cllr Ian Courts WMCA portfolio lead for energy and environment and Leader of Solihull Council said: “I’m really proud of the plan we’ve developed for the West Midlands which puts us on firmly on the track to achieve our net zero aspiration by 2041.
“Like the Mayor, I’m keen to focus on the exciting opportunities that a well-planned transition to net zero can unlock, both in terms of creating new jobs and growth as well as a cleaner more pleasant environment to live in. Most importantly we need to ensure these opportunities are equally shared out by delivering a transition that is fair to everyone.
“This is a milestone event for local leaders in the UK, and from across the world, as we head nearer to COP26.
“The West Midlands Combined Authority has set out how it proposes the region reaches net zero by 2041; now we are looking forward to working with UK local leaders and national government to work together to reach net zero across the country.”