WSP has been appointed to advise the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) on crafting and delivering its plan to become a net zero region by 2041.
The company will produce the first five-year plan (FYP) for 2021-26, providing clear guidance on what measures need to be implemented for the combined authority to become net zero by 2041.
The first of four FYPs, it will set the pace and tone of WMCA’s engagement with constituent local authorities and wider stakeholders and, for the first time, set interim carbon budgets for the authority to meet.
This follows from WMCA’s approval of ‘WM2041: A Programme for Implementing an Environmental Recovery’ on World Environment Day this year and acts a proactive and ambitious response to the combined authority’s declaration of a climate and ecological emergency last summer, as well as a plan for the region to accelerate its green recovery post-Covid 19.
WSP’s plan will bring life to WM2041’s five principles: ensuring no-one is left behind in the transition; investing in the resilience of places; using its industrial past to create a new future; creating places and connections that help meet the climate challenge; and decoupling prosperity from the consumption of energy and resources.
Andy Street, mayor of the west midlands, said: “Our plan for the west midlands has always been about securing investment in the high-tech, well-paid and ‘green’ jobs of the future, so that as we secure our economic future, we secure our planet’s future too.
“Our five year plan for the region is designed to help us achieve our ambitious #WM2041 goal of being a net-zero carbon region by 2041. And a key part of the plan is enabling everyone to play their part and benefit by ensuring that tackling climate change and securing good jobs go and hand in hand.”
“We’re ambitious. There is a huge amount to do, not least because of the impact of the pandemic. But our partnership with WSP will help us achieve our goal – so that as we strive to recover from the threat of the Coronavirus and its threats to lives and livelihoods, we reduce the threat to the future of our planet.”
Barny Evans, head of sustainable places, energy & waste at WSP, said: “As one of the fastest growing and most diverse regions of the UK, the west midlands is determined to take a lead role in showing how to grow whilst moving to net zero. This strategic appointment will allow WSP to bring the full breadth and depth of our experience to help the west midlands meet this challenge and grasp the many opportunities of transitioning to a net zero society and economy by 2041.”