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West Midlands to lead new net zero drive as part of £19m Government pilot

Published: Thursday 30 Nov 2023

The West Midlands is one of three UK regions chosen to be part of a new £19 million Government pilot to help unlock private investment, speed up efforts to tackle climate change and help the UK reach its net zero target.

As part of the Net Zero Accelerator programme, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has been handed more than £6 million to develop net zero solutions that can drive investment in multiple green projects across key sectors such as energy, housing and transport.

By combining multiple green projects across different sectors, rather than requesting funding for one-off, short-term projects, the new Local Net Zero Accelerator Programme will make it easier to secure private investment in a long-term, sustainable way.

This will be essential to delivering on the region's #WM2041 pledge and contribute to the UK’s climate targets.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA chair, said: "The government’s decision to ask our region to help lead the drive to net zero represents a real vote of confidence in what we can do and indeed are already doing here in the West Midlands.

"Whether it’s the strides we’re making to retrofit homes - making them warmer and more energy efficient - or cutting energy bills for local businesses or indeed ensuring our transport network is more sustainable, we’re taking the practical steps on the ground to advance the net zero cause.

"Together, we can help draw in the required public and private finance that will accelerate the rollout and take up of net zero related projects right across the UK as a whole."

Lord Callanan, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance, said: "The UK is a world leader when it comes to tackling climate change. But the work we do locally is just as important for cutting emissions and delivering net zero.

"These pilots will help combined authorities to unlock private sector investment that they can spend on green projects they see fit locally, whether that be retrofitting housing or investing in green public transport networks – all while supporting skilled jobs, building out supply chains and growing our economy."

The lessons learnt from these pilots will be used to support other combined authorities across England deliver on net zero targets.

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