Birmingham has been snubbed by environment campaigners who have chosen Nottingham as their preferred location for a flagship sustainable city.
Although based in Birmingham, the Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) UK said the city had not shown a high enough level of commitment to the environment. Plans to make Nottingham its partner were announced last night at a meeting at Birmingham Council House. They will be explained further today at a conference at the NEC.
David Middleton, the CEO of BCSD, said: "We have found in Nottingham a city that already has a track record of doing a lot of things in terms of sustainability.
"It has a very strong leadership in the form of the deputy leader of the council, Councillor Mike Edwards, who is committed in doing what he needs to do to make the city a sustainable city.
"You don't see that same degree of determination and commitment in the city of Birmingham. Michael Edwards at Nottingham has not just been talking about it, he's doing it.
"In one part of Nottingham, the local residents' reception of the wind turbine has been so encouraging that they are going to put another one up."
Mr Middleton added: "The time it will take to create a sustainable city depends on how big it is. If you take the size of the city of Birmingham, it could take ten years but it is achievable.
"The trouble is we are not even starting. All we are doing is bits and pieces."
Peter Braithwaite, honorary professor of the University of Birmingham and a director at the global engineering and design group Arup, criticised Birmingham's apparent lack of leadership on the issue.
"I would like to see much stronger strategic leadership from Birmingham City Council," he said.
"One of the problems with sustainable developments, such as Eastside, New Street station or the Irish Quarter, is that they are started with good aspirations but as you go into the planning process and design cost assessments, then a lot of sustainable elements are lost in the drive for cutting costs.
"Eastside has a sustainability adviser, for example, who works very hard, but has no resources or powers to see that what the city wants is delivered."
Coun Edwards said it was important to work in partnership with Birmingham and for the city to put aside its political differences.
"Our future relies on cooperating with Birmingham and not competing," he said.
"In Nottingham, we have had a long history in being radical for a number of things.
"Birmingham needs to sharpen up. People in Birmingham are saying that to me. They should perhaps look at refreshing and renewing their commitment."
Paul Tilsley, deputy leader of Birmingham City Council, said last night: "Birmingham City Council is one of many local authorities which have signed the Nottingham Declaration pledging our commitment to tackling climate change and we are taking forward a climate change strategy in partnership with the Birmingham Strategic Partnership.
"At the Birmingham Conference, we announced that we aim to develop Birmingham as a centre of excellence for green technology.
"We already have successful sustainability initiatives such as the Combined Heat and Power scheme for Broad Street and Eastside, which will make a significant contribution to reducing CO2 emissions and we will be moving forward on this agenda."