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Top rating for region’s efforts to tackle climate change

Published: Thursday 19 Oct 2023

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has retained its position as one of the country’s most ambitious and forward-thinking regions on tackling climate change.

For the second year running, the WMCA is the highest ranked of all combined authorities in the latest study published by not-for-profit organisation, Climate Emergency UK.

The high rating from Climate Emergency UK (CEUK) comes as a direct result of the WMCA’s ongoing commitment to ensuring the West Midlands achieves its #WM2041 target of being a net zero region within the next two decades.

This includes securing over £100 million of funding to make homes and businesses more energy efficient, providing free green skills courses for thousands of local people, and making almost £2 million available for community led projects that protect and restore nature. That funding will now be extended to helping to prepare communities to manage the impact of climate change.

The WMCA got top marks from CEUK for its plans to electrify the region’s bus network, build new railway stations, and make it simpler and easier for people to use all forms of public transport with its smart and flexible Swift travel card.

Through the Greener Together initiative, the WMCA is also supporting local people and businesses to make their own contributions to net zero and to help shape regional climate-related policies.

The WMCA also acknowledges the contribution to its high ranking by the hard work of its seven constituent local authorities to design and implement their own net zero and climate change strategies in support of #WM2041.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said: “Our top ranking on Climate Emergency UK's scorecard is a tremendous independent endorsement of our efforts to meet our #WM2041 net zero commitment.

“We’re delivering right across our region in practical ways. We’re retrofitting homes to make them more energy efficient and cut household bills, funding valuable community nature projects, and developing sustainable transport infrastructure - including more electric buses, train stations, and cycle routes.

“We will continue to work closely with Government and the private sector to seek innovative solutions in the months and years ahead as we tackle the climate emergency together for the benefit of local people here in the West Midlands.”

Cllr John Cotton, WMCA portfolio holder for environment and energy, and leader of Birmingham City Council, added: “It's great to see the West Midlands getting the credit that we deserve for our region-wide efforts to tackle the climate emergency.

“As a group of authorities, we remain committed to delivering on net zero in partnership with local people, business, the third sector and national government. Everyone must play their part in the shared goal of creating a more sustainable West Midlands, for current and future generations, and I look forward to us all continuing to work together on this critical issue.”

More information about what the WMCA is doing to tackle climate change is on the WMCA website

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