Birmingham left trailing in table of Britain’s most sustainable cities

Birmingham is anchored close to the bottom of a league table of Britain’s most sustainable cities.

An analysis by the pressure group Forum for the Future places Birmingham 18th out of 20, with only Hull and Liverpool below.

Bristol is in first place, as a result of its “ impressive increase in recycling and composting rates”, while second-placed Brighton and Hove has the best quality of life.

The survey marks Birmingham down for a poor performance on the collection of household waste and low life expectancy. However, improved air quality meant the city moved up from 19th spot last year.

The findings come as a blow to the council, which aims to turn Birmingham into Britain’s “first sustainable UK city” by 2026, with a 60 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions.

Forum’s second annual index ranked cities on environmental performance, quality of life and how well they are addressing issues such as climate change, recycling and biodiversity.

The report revealed a clear north-south divide. Southern cities perform better in the quality of life indicators, while the industrial heritage of the Midlands and North is reflected in lower life expectancy.