Birmingham Council declared a climate emergency in June 2019 with a goal of the city becoming a net zero carbon city by 2030, or as soon after as a just transition permits. A Taskforce was set up to develop and bring back to Full Council a plan for achieving net zero carbon.
Footsteps has been a member of the Taskforce, participating in Taskforce meetings, submitting reports and papers, running community engagement activities and working with other Taskforce members. The Taskforce’s plan for achieving net zero carbon is being considered at a Full Council meeting on 15 September.
In advance of the meeting Footsteps has issued a statement welcoming the Council’s cross-party and collaborative approach and the progress that has been made in challenging times, but also raising a number of specific serious concerns. These concerns include:
- that the ambition for becoming a net zero carbon city has slipped from 2030 to 2041 without explanation;
- that ‘just transition’ aspects of the original Declaration ‘making sure we take communities with us, protecting employment and without impoverishing deprived communities’ are underdeveloped in the Carbon Emission Reduction Study action plan;
- that little attention is given to funding the transition apart from the need for central Government funding and the Council’s own limited resources. Funding should include, for example, mobilising residents’ own savings, pension funds and innovative sources of finance such as Green Bonds and crowd-funding;
- that insufficient attention has been given to communicating and engaging with Birmingham’s citizens and building up their support.
A copy of the full statement can be seen on the Footsteps website.
You may want to write to your local councillors, highlighting the importance of the debate on 15th September and passing on Footstep’s concerns.