5th Jul, 2020

Solihull Council hits out at claims it has the worst record for commitment to reducing carbon emissions

Sarah Mason 24th Sep, 2019

SOLIHULL Council has hit out at figures which claim it has the worst record on commitment to reducing carbon emissions in the region.

Conservative leaders describe the figures as ‘self-serving nonsense’.

As we reported yesterday, Ellie Chowns, Green MEP for the West Midlands, released a table of 14 unitary, metropolitan and county councils throughout the region and rated them on a number of green initiatives.

The table, compiled by her team, saw Solihull Council rated bottom for factors including the declaration of climate emergency, divestment of fossil fuels and whether there is a strategy in place to transition to zero-carbon.

However Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, cabinet member for climate change, planning and housing has now responded by saying: “The tables released by the Green Party are self-serving nonsense.

“Their methodology is designed to reinforce their self-appointed position as the only ones who care about the climate change. Their scoring is inaccurate.

“We on the other hand are actually putting in place plans and policies that will make a difference.

“We have long recognised the importance of the climate change agenda and if measured on what we have done, and plan to do, we would no doubt be top of their table.

“We are serious about working with our residents and business to play our part in tackling climate change and will be measured on our record not whether we have signed up to spurious virtue signalling campaign.”

Following a visit to the borough last month Dr Chowns said the council’s record on climate change was dismal.

She added: “They are wasting the opportunities that come with a green transition.

“As I said in August, we need concrete action from every level of power to tackle the climate crisis.

“Across the West Midlands region people are waking up to the crisis and doing exactly that, but we need it from every council.

“In Solihull we need investment in public transport, energy efficient homes to be built and green spaces protected.

“The council must step up to the challenge, for the sake of its residents and indeed the planet. There is a massive task ahead.”

It is not the first time the council has been in the firing line for its environment record.

As we reported in July, Friends of the Earth criticised Solihull for failing to declare a climate emergency and adhere to its 33 recommendations for local councils.

ClientEarth, the environmental law charity, criticised Solihull Council earlier this month for its alleged poor sustainable planning record and lack of ambitious targets for air quality, carbon reduction and green space preservation.

The results can be seen at https://westmidlands.greenparty.org.uk/climate-change-league-table/.

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