The launch of the Birmingham Route to Zero (R20) Taskforce follows a cross-party declaration of a climate emergency by Birmingham City Council in June, with the council’s Cabinet then agreeing in July to make tackling climate change one of the authority’s six main priorities.
The cross-party and multi-agency taskforce will be chaired by Councillor Waseem Zaffar, the council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, and will also include representation from Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Green councillors, while an invitation is also going out to the West Midlands Combined Authority, the Chamber of Commerce and representatives from faith communities and the business, health, education and third sectors to join the taskforce.
Due to meet for the first time in October, the taskforce will hold a series of round table and community events to establish what Route to Zero would mean for the city’s communities and businesses, what would be required of both the city and the council to achieve this ambition, identify any barriers to doing so and exploring opportunities to collaborate with others and share best practice.
The taskforce will then present an outline plan and key actions to full council in January 2020.
Councillor Zaffar said: “I am really pleased to be announcing this new climate change taskforce for Birmingham, who will draw up a plan of action to tackle climate change and make our city and our world a better place for future generations to come.
“However, this will not just be a Birmingham City Council taskforce that sits in the Council House; this will be a multi-agency, cross-party taskforce that works in partnership across the city, engaging with our many different communities, covering all ages and backgrounds, to find out what they need and to educate and empower them as we all work together towards a common goal.
“We want Birmingham to become a carbon neutral city by 2030 and the creation of this new taskforce is an important and exciting step forward in working towards achieving that ambition.”