GBSLEP Net Zero Champion Statement
15 Jul 2021
Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) has announced today (15th July) that Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council, WMCA Portfolio Lead for Environment, Energy and HS2 and GBSLEP Board Director, is the new Net Zero Champion on its Board.
In this new role, Councillor Courts will drive the GBSLEP’s work on helping businesses decarbonise to align with the regional and national net zero commitments. This will build on existing GBSLEP initiatives such as the Low Carbon Grant Fund which was launched last year.
Councillor Courts will also highlight how businesses can maximise the opportunities arising from Clean Growth, as innovative new products and sustainable practises can attract new investment and create new jobs. Recent analysis from the Midlands Energy Hub indicates that up to 168,000 low carbon jobs could be created by 2050 to deliver on national Net Zero targets.
Chairman of GBSLEP, Tim Pile said: “It’s a perfect fit that Councillor Courts is our new and very first Net Zero Champion on the GBSLEP Board as he has been a long-time advocate for sustainability and the environment. His wealth of experience in business, and longstanding commitment to raise awareness for decarbonisation will be invaluable in our GBSLEP mission to deliver inclusive sustainable growth for our businesses and communities.
“Clean Growth provides much-needed opportunities for businesses and individuals, as our society and economy is beginning to recover from the pandemic. At the same time, efforts to decarbonise the economy and build climate change resilience are accelerating. Heads of state and climate experts will agree further coordinated action to tackle climate change at the COP26 summit in Glasgow. The leadership of Net Zero Champions at local and regional levels of decision making has therefore never been more important.
“Councillor Courts will help ensure the GBSLEP integrates Net Zero into all it does in the region to unlock Clean Growth. I look forward to working with him, other board members and our partners to deliver on our vision.”
GBSLEP Net Zero Champion, Councillor Ian Courts added: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the GBSLEP’s Net Zero Champion. Our region’s strengths in the low carbon sector means we have an opportunity to play a central role in achieving our commitment to regional and national net zero targets.
“GBSLEP has already demonstrated how working with partners in the private, public and academic sector is crucial to strengthening low carbon enterprise in the region. Targeted investments such as the Birmingham Energy Innovation Centre at Tyseley Energy Park are already making a difference and supporting our route to a low carbon economy locally.
“I’m interested in how we can continue this brilliant partnership working to open up new opportunities for our businesses to support new investment, creating jobs and drive innovation.”
To date, through its ‘triple helix’ structure of private, public and academic partners, the GBSLEP has invested in a number of sustainable projects including £7 million into the Birmingham Energy Innovation Centre at Tyseley Energy Park, Birmingham City Council’s hydrogen buses pilot and Solihull Council’s Connected Autonomous Vehicles pilot.
During this year, GBSLEP will continue to work with its partners on implemented ongoing innovative measures to reduce carbon emissions across the GBSLEP area whilst encouraging local businesses to adopt low carbon technology.
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