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Covid-19: West Midlands sets out plans for a green recovery

Words: Laura Edgar

The board of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has given the go-ahead to a blueprint that seeks to mitigate the effects of coronavirus (Covid-19) on the region with a green recovery. 

WM2041: A Programme for Implementing an Environmental Recovery builds on an existing commitment – #WM2041 – to make the West Midlands carbon-neutral by 2041.

It outlines how the region can rebuild its economy in a green and inclusive way so its diverse communities and its environment can benefit.

The initiatives set out in the blueprint range in scale and complexity, and will be implemented over different timescales. They include:

  • Accelerating the transition of the region’s automotive industry to electric vehicles.
  • Rolling out charging infrastructure for electric vehicles at scale.
  • Supporting the growth of green neighbourhoods and natural capital.
  • Retrofitting old and cold homes to make them more energy efficient and help tackle fuel poverty.
  • Announcing a green innovation challenge for SMEs to find solutions for some climate change challenges.
  • Active transport initiatives, for example, pop-up cycle lanes and widened pavements.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “The region’s economic recovery from coronavirus must be green and inclusive, and #WM2041 helps give clear direction of how to achieve this.

“We now need to come together as a region – including businesses, communities, and local authorities – to make this plan happen and help build a stronger, greener and more inclusive recovery for everyone in the region.”

Work is set to begin soon on a number of the projects.

Image credit | iStock