TWO hundred thousand new green jobs could be created in the West Midlands if the region chooses to lead Britain’s ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ says Labour MP and West Midlands mayoral candidate Liam Byrne.
Speaking during a visit to the Dudley – where the world’s first steam engine was demonstrated – he pledged to bring the region together to draw up plans for the West Midlands to become Britain’s first net zero cities-region ahead of November’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November.
He said: “We will tell the world that we have the passion, skills and commitment to make the Green Future.
“We made the first carbon based industrial revolution, now we can make the zero carbon revolution.
“Our challenge is to go green and create jobs.”
“My vision is for a clean and green West Midlands, a pollution free West Midlands. We need to cut greenhouse emissions by retrofitting our homes to make them warmer and combat fuel poverty.
“We need to put green transport at the centre of our public transport policy and encourage the use of electric vehicles for private transport.
“We need to increase the canopy of trees, especially in our most densely urban areas. A green future is possible and we can make it here in the West Midlands.”
Mr Byrne said 200,000 new green jobs could be created in the West Midlands, many of them in the Black Country, Birmingham and Coventry.
And he said that would make his manifesto the greenest manifesto in Labour’s history.
Mr Byrne went on to set out a five point plan:
– A West Midlands COP – a Conference of the Parties – to be held in the heart of the Black Country to agree a plan for the West Midlands to become the first net zero carbon cities-region in the country
– Negotiation of a Green Devolution Deal to take regional control of Government budgets to retrofit the region’s 1.2 million homes
– A network of Green Development Zones across the region to help industry go net zero carbon, along with a West Midlands Gigafactory
– Rapid deployment of Very Light Rail across region
– A target of 25 per cent tree canopy cover, kickstarted by planting Commonwealth Jubilee forests across the region, to commemorate the Commonwealth Games and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee