Leaders join forces to discuss region's transition to becoming net-zero - The Solihull Observer

Leaders join forces to discuss region's transition to becoming net-zero

Solihull Editorial 27th Sep, 2022   0

BUSINESS leader and the West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, joined forced to discuss the region’s transition to net-zero and the contribution this could make to tackling the cost-of-living crisis.

Hosted by NatWest and the University of Warwick at the business Accelerator hub on the University’s campus, the event brought together members of the Sustainable Homes and Buildings Coalition.

The Coalition was launched last year by NatWest and brings a group of organisations from different sectors together to address the key issues to meeting net zero, with a particular focus on reducing carbon emissions from homes and buildings.

The event, which was the first Coalition meeting in the West Midlands, focused on exploring collaborative approaches to improve energy efficiency in the region’s homes and buildings.

The West Midlands Combined Authority has pledged to become a net-zero carbon authority by 2041, including supporting the region to transition to more environmentally friendly homes and promoting cleaner, greener transport options.

Representatives from NatWest, British Gas, Worcester Bosch and Shelter and the University of Warwick, agreed that collaboration at a local level is key to meeting targets, with discussions covering a range of issues and ideas.

They spoke about the barriers in place including a lack of availability of skilled labour to install and fit new technology into existing housing stock and a lack of consumer understanding about the available technology.

Mr Street said: “The current energy price crisis means we must change our policy and approach to energy.

“The focus for the long term is rightly on renewable sources, but in the near term the approach needs to shift towards ideas such as energy efficiency, as consistent Government subsidies is not a sustainable solution for the country to the current energy crisis.

“As Mayor of the West Midlands, I’m delighted to be expanding our own retrofit programme to nearly 1,300 households that are most in need in the region, in order to support them with their energy bills, as well as driving towards net-zero.

“However, private sector innovation is needed in order to support everyday consumers with the cost of energy.

“The work of the coalition, and their drive to put energy efficiency on the agenda to address the current energy crisis is exciting, as I believe this agenda is of critical importance to not only our short-term concerns but our longer term energy security.”

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