Carbon Neutrality & the West Midlands city region

Date of the report

June 2006

Author of the report

The Lunar Society

Purpose of the report

The Lunar Society provided a forum for well-informed discussion on Climate Change, and how the West Midlands has the capacity to effectively engage with the issue, coordinating local action with national lobbying in order to adapt to its consequences. Led by the Chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, Sir John Lawton, the discussion outlined the scientific evidence for climate change and highlighted the simplicity and affordability of mitigating its effects, and the consequent economic benefits. There was a general consensus that inaction is not an option but that there were major barriers to change, including a lack of commitment and leadership.

Relevance to the region

On a regional level, the discussion highlighted the issues facing local authorities in terms of reducing CO₂ emissions.  It was suggested that collaboration with businesses and with others on a wider regional basis was the way forward. The participants brought to light the growing concern that efforts on a regional level to reduce CO₂ emissions would be swamped by the continuing growth from rapidly industrialising nations such as India and China. There was agreement among those present that for securing acceptance within the region, communicating the feasibility and necessity of change is vital.  In particular, communication with the younger generation will be critical for effective action as they will be the main beneficiaries to change. ‘Carbon neutrality’ was deemed a succinct and meaningful target for the West Midlands, with hopes of achieving this sometime between 2030 and 2040.

What SWM liked

We were particularly motivated by the general feeling of optimism over the future of the region, in particular the belief that the West Midlands City Region is of a scale and significance to make a real difference to national and international perceptions.

Links and contact information

For more information, visit the lunar society website.


Carbon Neutrality & the West Midlands city region

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