Councillor Zaffar visits COP26 Glasgow

Councillor Zaffar gives talk at Asthma UK stand in Glasgow during COP26
Published: Thursday, 11th November 2021

Today, Birmingham City Council Member for Transport and Environment, Councillor Zaffar is on a journey to COP26 where he will be talking about the council's route to net-zero carbon by 2030.

Councillor Zaffar will be taking a trip on the UK’s first hydrogen train, which was developed by Birmingham University. He will also be giving a talk at an Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation event where he will explain the council's initiatives to tackle air pollution. You can follow him as he shares his journey to Glasgow on social media.

Councillor Waseem Zaffar said:

I am excited to have the opportunity to visit Glasgow for COP26 and talk about the innovative work that Birmingham City Council is doing to tackle the climate emergency. Through our Route to Zero programme and the Birmingham Transport Plan we have set out ambitious plans that will transform our city for the better, reducing emissions, improving public transport and lowering the congestion that blights our city’s roads.

I welcome the progress made at COP26, and I hope that our Government will support local authorities as we make the transition to a green economy in the coming years.

Councillor Zaffar is sharing today's experience with followers on Birmingham City Council's social media:

7:15am Cllr Zaffar sets off at Birmingham New Street Station and tweets:

It’s Thursday morning just gone 7am and I am here at Birmingham New Street station, travelling up by train to COP26 and I’m really excited that I will be participating in a couple of exciting events.

I will be visiting the University of Birmingham’s Hydroflex train which is an exciting development and I will also be speaking at a clean air event and talking about our the Clean Air Zone and the wider work that we are doing across the city of Birmingham.

9:25am Councillor Zaffar changes trains at Preston station where he tweets:

Now I’m getting on the second train of the morning going from Preston to Glasgow for COP26.

The distance from Birmingham to Glasgow is 290 miles and the journey will take four hours and 20 minutes.

In France the train from Paris to Lyon is also 290 miles in distance but takes just two hours; that’s half the time from Birmingham to Glasgow; it’s a little cheaper too.

If we are serious about tackling climate crisis her in the UK, we need faster, cheaper and more reliable trains that will encourage more people to leave their cars at home and take the train instead.

Here in the UK our train system is struggling, our infrastructure is old and we lack the capacity to get people around the country quickly.

The reality is that I could have flown to Glasgow from Birmingham today: it would have been cheaper and would have got me there much faster but at a much bigger environmental cost.

We need the Government to back HS2 in its entirety if we are to cut our emissions, connect our cities and boost out country’s economy.

12:15 to 2pm Councillor Zaffar experiences a ride on the UK’s first hydrogen train and joins a panel discussion.

18 people will board the UK’s first hydrogen train in Glasgow for a ride before partaking in a panel discussion about innovative technology at the University of Birmingham round table, chaired by Lord Bilimoria, the Chancellor of the University of Birmingham and President of the CBI. A delegation from Serbia will be considering the hydrogen train for their railway.

4 to 5:30pm Councillor Zaffar talks at the Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation.

Councillor Zaffar will visit an Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation (AUK-BLF) event where he will talk about the impact of poor air quality on our health and the importance of protecting our lungs and the lungs of the Earth. He will explain how the Birmingham Transport Plan has already begun to achieve this with car-free school streets, places for people and city centre segments, as part of Birmingham’s integrated transport plan, which works for everyone.

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