Birmingham City Council must speed up efforts to make the city more sustainable if it is to stand a chance of meeting challenging climate change targets, according to a leading environmental business expert.
CEO of Environmental Business Communications David Middleton likened the council’s efforts to those of a supertanker whose rudder had been turned, but was still taking time to change direction.
Writing in today’s Birmingham Post he praised the city for its efforts so far but said more needed to be done.
He said: “The trouble with somewhere like Birmingham is it’s like a supertanker. You turn the rudder but it’s a long time before the ship turns to its new course.
“As someone who has lived in the city all his life and is as proud a Brummie as anyone, I am delighted to see the commitment of the city fathers to sustainable development.
“I am impatient for change, anxious to see tangible evidence of delivery against statements and barrow-loads of reports, surveys, consultations and the like.
“So to those who have criticised me in the past for criticising the council, this is not criticism. This is a heartfelt plea to accelerate the process of delivery.”
Mr Middleton believes Birmingham needs to prepare for the coming energy crunch.
He said: “Our access to energy is now no longer within our own control and globally there is more and more demand for it.
“Some critical resources are becoming precious and some even non-existent.
“Our ability to feed ourselves is impacted by fast growing economies such as China and India and on changing climate conditions.”
Mr Middleton goes on to praise the council’s efforts on schemes including Combined Heat and Power Units (CHP) and major construction projects, but encourages officials to consider car share schemes as well and said: “Birmingham’s activities on CHP are noteworthy and to be applauded.
“Current and planned major construction projects in the city are demonstrating new technologies especially in energy and climate management... but what about a car share scheme for the city centre based on hydrogen-powered cars?”
City Council deputy leader Paul Tilsley said the council was doing a lot to address sustainability.
“Other cities in the UK are coming to Birmingham to learn from what we are doing. We are also acquiring environmentally-friendly vehicles, multi-printing machines covering several council departments, and promoting cleaner energy and the reduction of energy use.”