HUNDREDS have pledged to cut their own carbon footprint in support of the West Midland’s journey to being net zero.
Around 300 residents have signed up to take part in a free Carbon Literacy course run by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) which explains the impact of climate change, what personal actions they can take to help tackle it, and how they can influence others to do the same.
Helen Buttrick from Warwickshire, is among those who have completed the training.
The 42-year-old said: “I really enjoyed taking the learning from the sessions and being able to apply that to my life.
“We’ve gone on as a family to get solar panels installed on the roof of our house, I ran a community event in a local village hall with a friend, with talks and stalls on things like solar panels, heat pumps and sustainability swaps.
“The course gave me the confidence to give a talk on small scale rewilding to encourage people to increase biodiversity in their garden and set up a business called Helia Net Zero to help individuals and communities reach their sustainability goals with research, support and coaching.”
The success of the free training has also contributed to WMCA becoming the first combined authority and one of just 143 organisations across the UK to be awarded Carbon Literacy Organisation (CLO) status by the Carbon Literacy Project.
CLO status recognises its commitment to a low carbon culture. The WMCA has been awarded the Bronze accreditation as a first step on the ladder to achieving Gold ‘standard’.
As part of the accreditation, 10 per cent of the WMCA workforce have also been through the training to help embed, support, and deliver carbon literacy internally and across the region, and to actively contribute to a reduction in carbon emissions.
Councillor Ian Courts, WMCA portfolio holder for environment and energy, and leader of Solihull Council, said: “To be accredited as a Bronze CLO is huge achievement for the WMCA, and welcome recognition for the work we are doing to train residents and our own staff as we look to embed the principle of a low carbon culture in everything we do. Being the first combined authority to become a CLO will hopefully inspire even more people across the West Midlands to take their own action to address the climate emergency.”