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Apr
08

Birmingham Green Commission Vision Statement is Published

A programme of work to make Birmingham one of the world’s leading green cities was announced in March.

The Green Commission – launched by Birmingham City Council in June 2012 – has revealed its strategic aims in a vision statement, with a priority focus on publishing a Birmingham Carbon Roadmap in October 2013.

The four priority areas of the Birmingham Carbon Roadmap include:

  1. How Birmingham should in future be heated and powered – the creation of an Energy Plan for Birmingham and expand new district energy networks in major regeneration and development areas of the city and link these to existing housing to help reduce energy bills.
  2. The preparation of a Birmingham Mobility Action Plan to improve how we travel and get around by promoting alternative choices of transport and the procurement of low carbon/electric vehicles across public and private organisation.
  3. Improving the energy efficiency and affordable warmth of buildings, by continuing to roll out the Birmingham Energy Savers programme and expand it into future years.
  4. Creating decarbonised local energy generation capacity by building on the success of the city’s existing solar installations, exploit the potential of the city’s land and building assets to generate renewable energy perspective.

Birmingham’s Green Commission Chairman, Cllr James McKay (Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and SmartCity at Birmingham City Council), said: “Our research shows the benefits of becoming a leading green city are enormous for Birmingham.

“When many people think of the green agenda, they think of things like carbon emissions and global warming – and while these issues are clearly important it is also vital for us to get things right on this agenda because there are economic and social gains.

“Jobs are already being created locally in green industries but we need to ensure Birmingham is at the cutting edge, so it becomes a place that businesses want to invest in. And if we can develop low carbon vehicles, energy efficient homes and new ways of generating energy, citizens will save money and enjoy a better quality of life.

“This Vision Statement lays the foundations that will help turn these aspirations into reality in the months and years to come.”

The commission has also concluded that the city’s existing target to cut carbon emissions by 60 per cent from a 1990 baseline should be retained, with all work and progress measured within the Government’s Carbon Budget framework, which will ensure the city’s progress is aligned to national policy.

There are four Carbon Budget periods, each of five years in length, between 2008 and 2027, and the Green Commission has recommended that progress reports are provided annually to ensure Birmingham remains on track to meet its goals. This does mean that the end year for the target will now be set for 2027.

Two upcoming events provide the chance for you to hear more about the Vision and Carbon Roadmap and get involved with the work:

BASE Birmingham on 11th April 2013 – http://www.basecities.com/birmingham

Sustainability Forum on 15th April 2013 – http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/sustainability

@greenbirmingham  #greenrbum

Words by Richard Rees, Strategic Energy Delivery Officer
Birmingham City Council, UK