The Climate Emergency is on everybody’s mind. Authorities up and down the country are declaring they will be carbon-neutral by 2050, or 2041 – and even in a few cases by 2030 (when it really needs to happen). But making commitments, and delivering on them, are two different things.

To become truly carbon-neutral throughout our society requires technologies and innovations that are only now being developed – and the West Midlands should be at the forefront of those developments. We’re the home of the steam engine, and the jet engine. Birmingham was known as “the city of a thousand trades”. Our factories and workforces helped win World Wars for Britain. It’s in our DNA to be an industrial powerhouse – but we’ll only take back to our rightful place if we hunt down the opportunities that the green technology sector can offer.

Labour and the Conservatives are fond of paying lip-service to Green ideals – but their ideas are lacking in substance. As mayor, I will strive to make the West Midlands the centre of the UK’s green technology sector. This means transforming our economic priorities; making our region the best place for entrepreneurs and innovators to come and do the vital work of developing the industrial response to the Climate Emergency. It means making sure our people have the skills and the abilities that employers need. Public sector investment will act as a catalyst for private sector investment, as private investors seek to share in the financial rewards of the transition to a net zero carbon future.