More than 90,000 jobs could be created in the West Midlands over the next two decades as part of the drive to achieve net zero carbon emissions.
A new multibillion-pound draft action plan outlines the potential employment opportunities over the next 20 years in fields such as housebuilding and public transport.
Published by the West Midlands Combined Authority in partnership with consultancy WSP, the masterplan outlines a five-year roadmap which it says will bring major improvements to the economy and people’s quality of life if it is adopted.
It states the action needed to drive a cut in carbon of around 25 per cent by 2026, the reduction needed to keep the region on course to meet the 2041 target and accelerate a green and inclusive economic recovery.
The research also found that more than 21,000 new jobs could be created over the next five years, and 92,000 by 2041, mostly in carbon-cutting industries and technologies.
BusinessLive is your home for business news from around the country – and you can stay in touch with all the latest news through our email alerts.
You can sign up to receive daily morning news bulletins from every region we cover and to weekly email bulletins covering key economic sectors from manufacturing to technology and enterprise. And we’ll send out breaking news alerts for any stories we think you can’t miss.
Visit our email preference centre to sign up to all the latest news from BusinessLive.
It is estimated investment of around £4.7 billion will be needed in the first five years and £15.4 billion by 2041 to achieve these goals.
Among the proposals are:
– Retrofitting thousands of homes to make them more energy efficient
– A charter setting out how all new homes built in the region from 2025 can be zero carbon ready
– The upgrade of the region’s bus fleet to zero-emission vehicles, including Coventry becoming an all-electric bus city by 2025 and new hydrogen-powered sprint buses
– A tree-planting programme including one for every resident and plans for a national park
Other opportunities are expected to be generated by a rapid growth in electric and autonomous vehicles being developed by manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover and Aston Martin in the region.
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “This marks a significant step closer towards achieving our goal of net zero by 2041.
“When we set our target last year, we were honest about the scale of change that lay ahead.
“But with the publication of this plan, we are also outlining the enormous opportunity the transition to net zero presents for our region.
“Up to 92,000 jobs could be created in new green industries across all our economic sectors. Construction, manufacturing, transport, hospitality all stand to benefit from this transformational effort.
“This is what makes it so important that our journey to net zero involves the whole region. Public, private and third sectors will all need to work together and we have made sure to consult them thoroughly on the creation of this plan.
“I am ambitious that we can deliver the scale of change required to reach this target and I am excited by the opportunities presented by it.”
The proposals will go before the West Midlands Combined Authority’s board at its meeting on March 19 and a citizens’ panel is also planned so residents can shape the work.