Houses under construction

West Midlands Combined Authority launch low carbon housing taskforce

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) have launched a new Zero Carbon Homes Taskforce to accelerate the construction of low carbon, energy efficient homes in the region.

With targets to ensure all new homes meet tough zero carbon standards by 2025 onwards, the new taskforce will help support the region’s climate change goals and is being chaired by the UK Green Building Council.

It will provide local and expert insight into how the region plans for a net zero future as it works towards achieving its ambitious target of being carbon neutral by 2041.

The move towards zero carbon homes is set to play a critical role in the region’s wider plans for a successful economic recovery from Covid-19 – one that makes the West Midlands a greener and healthier place to live and work.

WM2041: A Programme for Implementing an Environmental Recovery sets out a range of initiatives from small-scale through to potentially region-wide and complex schemes, including retrofitting old and cold homes to make them more energy efficient and accelerating the transition of the region’s automotive industry to electric vehicles.

The taskforce will meet regularly over the coming months to co-develop a charter and roadmap to help guide the move towards zero carbon homes in the region and build consensus across major public and private sector organisations.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and Chair of the WMCA, said: “Housebuilding has been one of the West Midlands’ best success stories in recent years, with record numbers of homes being built and the vast majority of them on brownfield land.

“Now, not only must we look to continue that success in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but we must also think more about how housebuilding can help tackle the climate emergency we are facing and help the region reach its net-zero goal of 2041.

“This new taskforce will help do exactly that, building on work which is already underway to understand our existing performance and what more needs to be done.”

Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council, will chair the taskforce which includes representatives across the construction, finance, academia, innovation and energy sectors.

 “We have secured a multi-disciplinary and highly experienced group of representatives from business, local government and academia, all of whom I am confident will play a critical role in ensuring that the WMCA adopts an ambitious and impactful approach to delivering zero carbon homes closely aligned with UKGBC’s own framework definition for net zero carbon buildings,” she said.

“The taskforce will inform the development of a charter and a roadmap for zero carbon homes that the WMCA has a direct stake in, but importantly it should also set an example for other local authorities in the region to follow. This is a unique opportunity to bring the public and private sectors together to build back better by delivering homes fit for the future.”

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