Solihull Council has agreed a bold new Net Zero Action Plan (NZAP) which sets out the actions necessary to hit the borough’s net zero ambitions.
The Cabinet met last night to discuss the Action Plan and some of the challenges and opportunities it presents, and unanimously agreed the plan.
In response to the climate emergency, Solihull Council has spent the last year working to develop its NZAP for the borough, supported by sustainability consultants Anthesis. The final plan that has now been agreed is the product of all that hard work.
The aim of the NZAP is to support the borough in its decarbonisation efforts and its important ambition of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2041.
‘Net zero’ means that the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted is balanced out (or offset) by the carbon that is removed from the atmosphere.
The plan has also been developed to help maximise the benefits that can be achieved by reducing CO2 emissions. These include better air quality, improved natural environment, more comfortable homes, cost savings, and new green jobs.
The NZAP contains 203 proposed actions which support 54 goals to help the borough achieve its net zero aim. The NZAP is an important step in the journey towards being a net zero borough, the next stage will be implementation of the plan.
Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, said:
“I am very pleased that the NZAP has been approved as it means we can start to take the necessary next steps and begin implementation of the plan. Whilst we are already doing lots to decarbonise our borough, we now have a clear plan which outlines our contribution to tackling climate change – an existential threat to humanity. As a baseline, Solihull’s annual greenhouse gas emissions were estimated to be 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2019. That is roughly equal to driving a diesel car around the equator 200,000 times – it is clear that action must be taken.
“With the NZAP approval aligning with the timing of COP26, it brings it home how this is a global effort, one in which we all have to play our part.
“One of the key goals of COP26 is to secure net zero by the middle of the century; Governments and organisations are being asked to chart a clear and achievable course to this target – which is exactly what our NZAP provides.
“Whilst we are already taking action to get to net zero the development of our NZAP gives us a clear and planned approach to our actions – it is essential we take this seriously and follow the path to net zero by working together to achieve these ambitions.”
Councillor Andy Mackiewicz, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Planning and Housing, said:
“The approval of our NZAP is a huge success for Solihull, it reaffirms the Council’s commitment to helping Solihull become a net zero borough by 2041 as well as the importance of the whole borough coming together to realise this plan.
“We know that no individual or organisation can deliver this commitment alone and there is a lot more work to do – this plan is the first step of many and will be regularly reviewed and revised.
“I want to thank everyone who has been involved with the making of this plan, everyone who took part in the consultations and those who we have met, for all your efforts are what have allowed us to get to a final approved plan.”
Solihull’s Net Zero Green Paper went through consultation in February, and the NZAP went through five weeks of consultation in August and September. During these consultation periods, feedback, advice, and guidance were received which helped shape the final plan. Solihull’s NZAP will be reviewed every three years or earlier depending on legislation and new technology, and there will be regular progress reports and updates.