Accelerating the Midlands journey to net zero

Date posted: November 18, 2021
A green leaf with water droplets collecting on it, with a green background

For over 18 months more than 300 partners and parliamentarians, along with many more leading voices in the Midlands, have worked together to co-create our region’s first unified vision for accelerating towards net zero.

Peter Ware, Head of Government Sector at Browne Jacobson and Midlands Engine Green Growth Board Chair, explains what the Ten Point Plan for Green Growth in the Midlands Engine is, what it’s already achieved and what’s coming on the horizon.

Collaboration powers progress

The Ten Point Plan for Green Growth in the Midlands Engine sets out our region’s priority actions and opportunities around this urgent and vital issue.

It details how we will support the government on levelling up, net zero, nature’s recovery, post-COVID and post-EU Exit economic growth.

Working in partnership, the plan aims to create a 36% reduction in carbon emissions, 196,000 jobs and a £24.2 billion boost for our economy, all by 2041.

A phenomenal opportunity for our region’s productivity and prosperity.

Mapping the Midlands’ green assets

Since its launch in July we’ve made great progress and one of our plan’s notable early achievements is the Green Growth Digital Map, launched in the summer.

Developed by the Midlands Engine Observatory, the map produces a real-time collective picture of the green assets within our region.

Users can explore the map by theme and find out all about flagship projects, case studies, facilities and key industry leaders.

Because the map is a live tool, it will feature the latest projects and accurately track our region’s collective progress with each new achievement.

Pioneering low carbon hydrogen developments

We’ve also seen a great deal of work in low carbon hydrogen.

The H2GVMids project is a feasibility study on hydrogen-fuelled 44 tonne Heavy Goods Vehicles and includes a plan for H2 refuelling station distribution, an evaluation of the skills required to underpin H2 freight programmes and a business case for a demonstrator.

Midlands Engine will also shortly be publishing its Hydrogen Technologies Strategy which will capitalise on the strengths and capabilities across the Midlands in hydrogen and its associated technologies.

Understanding the challenges

Another early achievement we’re proud to share comes courtesy of Midlands Connect which recently published its Supercharging the Midlands Report.

Among many fascinating findings is the fact that the Midlands needs eleven new public electric vehicle chargers a day – that’s almost 4,000 every year until the end of the decade – to meet projected demand.

A powerful illustration of the scale of the collective net zero challenge we face.

Looking ahead to 2022

With these early wins already banked, our thoughts are turning to what’s next.

First comes the launch of our Natural Capital Monitor which has calculated the combined value of our region’s natural assets: over £330 billion.

By assigning a monetary value to clean air, carbon capture, fresh water and other necessities, the Monitor will help our region care for our vital, yet fragile natural environment.

Early next year, we’re expecting a report produced in collaboration with the British Business Bank on green finance, laying out the current landscape whilst a portfolio of green investment opportunities will be created, ready for capital and foreign direct investment.

Rounding out our activity over the next few months is a series of events that will advocate for our plan, firstly through a series of SME-focused workshops run in collaboration with regional partners and the inaugural Young Person’s Green Growth Assembly.

Bringing young people to the fore

The Assembly will provide a chance for influential leaders from every part of the Midlands to connect with a committed group of young people from across the Midlands and share insights, aspirations and views on how we can shape a greener, cleaner, more prosperous future together.

We’re really excited about this event showcasing the voice of our young people in the Midlands who will not only play their part in bringing our plan to fruition but will enjoy its benefits the longest.

Find out more about the Ten Point Plan for Green Growth in the Midlands Engine.

For the latest from our region, subscribe to Midlands Matters, the official newsletter of the Midlands Engine.

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