Local politics, business and energy leaders to set out bold vision for net zero by 2040

Date published: 22 February 2021

Leaders from politics, business, and energy infrastructure providers in the North West will today (Monday) launch an ambitious vision to become a UK leader in tackling the climate emergency and boosting a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

As the UK prepares to host the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) later this year, ‘North West Net Zero: The Road to COP26’ will outline the wide-ranging measures already being taken to accelerate progress to net zero in the North West by at least 2040 – at least 10 years ahead of the national target.

Showcasing a unique partnership of political leaders, local enterprise partnerships, energy infrastructure providers and business leaders, the event will serve as a call to action to others across the North West to unite behind a cohesive plan to decarbonise industry, accelerate low-carbon energy solutions, and promote green innovation to benefit communities and the economy.

‘North West Net Zero: The Road to COP26’ will bring together the mayors of Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region, and the leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, alongside industry-led groups Net Zero North West and The North West Business Leadership Team.

They will be joined by CEOs from three of the biggest energy infrastructure providers in the North West: Electricity North West, Cadent, and SP Energy Network, all of which have been involved in developing decarbonisation pathways for energy infrastructure across the North West.

Speaking at the event will be:

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region

Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader, Cheshire West and Chester Council, and Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership Board Member

Carl Ennis, Chief Executive of Siemens plc and Chair of Net Zero North West

Peter Emery, Chief Executive Officer, Electricity North West Limited

Steve Fraser, Chief Executive Officer, Cadent Ltd

Frank Mitchell, CEO, SP Energy Networks

Their contributions will be followed by a Q&A session chaired by Emma Degg, CEO of The North West Business Leadership Team.

Mr Burnham said: “Today is about showing the power and potential of a whole region pulling in the same direction to tackle the climate emergency.

"Together, we hope to build a movement to make the North West the country’s leading force in the zero-carbon economy.

“If we get serious now about the climate crisis, it will also help us tackle the post-pandemic jobs crisis.

"There are tens of thousands of good green jobs just waiting to be created across the North West – in retrofitting our buildings, modernising our energy systems, and decarbonising our transport. Now is absolutely the time to make that happen.

“We are outlining our vision to achieve a net zero North West by at least 2040 – 10 years ahead of the national target.

"Benchmarks like these not only give us something to aim at – they also demand meaningful commitments and urgent action.

"All of us gathered today are already taking that action, working together and developing detailed energy and environment plans for our places which can meet our collective ambitions.

“Come November, when all eyes are on the COP26 in Glasgow, we want to show the world that the North West of England is ready once again to lead an industrial revolution  – this time a green one.”

Emma Degg, CEO of The North West Business Leadership Team, said: “The urgency of achieving net zero carbon by 2040 creates immense opportunities as well as challenges for businesses large and small across our region.

"Since we began to collaborate in 2019, big strides have already been made to turn words into action.

"The collective leadership demonstrated today will help to deliver the investment and change we need to hit our ambitious targets and make a difference to communities across the North West.”

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