Carbon trading should offer a big boost to the West Midlands economy, it was claimed today.

And the region could become a major centre for biofuels production, it is suggested.

Now the West Midlands Business Council has presented a number of proposals including providing practical advice to firms to exploit the emissions trading scheme.

It comes in response to the West Midlands Regional Assembly's consultation on developing a regional climate change action plan.

Chairman of WMBC's Energy Forum, Lucy Avery, of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, said: "Carbon emissions trading has already breathed new life for the City of London - and it can do the same for Midlands businesses.

"Businesses can gain profits from carbon trading as well as helping fight climate change. That is why if regional public bodies are serious about combating climate change, they must ensure that good advice is available to small and medium sized businesses to get involved in emissions trading.

"We have also proposed a development of the biofuels market - with the Institution of Civil Engineers estimating that 50,000 hectares in the West Midlands region could be used for biofuels.

"Clarity is also needed over the different public structures involved in climate change and energy - vital to maintain business confidence to combat the problem."