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The council’s commitment to respond to the climate emergency

The council is committed to taking a leading role, playing its part, and working with individuals, communities, businesses, partners, and others across the city and region to act now on the causes and impacts of the climate emergency.

On 11 June 2019 the council declared a climate emergency and made the commitment to take action to reduce the city’s carbon emissions and limit the climate crisis. The ambition was set for the council and city to become net zero carbon by 2030*, or as soon as possible thereafter as a ‘just transition’ allows – ensuring we reduce inequalities in the city and bring our communities with us. This is the city’s ‘route to zero’ (R20).

On 25 June 2019 the council’s Cabinet agreed to add a new priority to the Council Plan which states that Birmingham will be "a city that takes a leading role in tackling climate change". This commitment will embed climate action in the council’s decision-making process to make sure that all service areas contribute to the R20 journey.

Responding to the climate emergency presents us with an opportunity for positive change for the city. Bold climate action can deliver many benefits such as better health and wellbeing, improved air quality, economic savings for individuals and businesses, new jobs, less congestion on our roads, and cleaner and greener places.

Birmingham isn’t acting alone – momentum to respond to the climate emergency is building across the world. By 2019, over 60% of councils in the UK, as well as the UK parliament, had declared a climate emergency in 2019.

*It’s difficult to stop all carbon emitting activities. Achieving ‘net zero carbon’ (or being ‘carbon neutral’) aims to ‘balance’ emissions by cutting them where we can, and introducing measures to prevent those emissions that we cannot avoid from entering the atmosphere. This is called ‘offsetting’ emissions.

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