As part of its national tour, the UK’s Zero Carbon Battle Bus has stopped off in Birmingham to highlight the importance of tackling climate change and demonstrate some of the things that can be done to reach net zero targets.
The bus, the UK’s first fully electric Carbon Battle Bus, is travelling across the country in the lead-up to the UK hosting the United Nation’s COP26 event in Glasgow this November.
Delivered by sustainability organisation Planet Mark, in collaboration with the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and private sector partners including Prologis and the Institute of Directors, the event in Birmingham was organised by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the Midlands Energy Hub.
The visit included presentations and talks by some of the region’s businesses about the efforts they’re making to reduce carbon emissions, as well as discussing some of the challenges faced.
The Zero Carbon electric bus was accompanied on Centenary Square by one of Birmingham City Council’s own electric double-deckers, and one of its hydrogen-powered buses, both operated by National Express.
While the buses were on display, Planet Mark and businesses from across the region held an interactive session in the Library of Birmingham. The session explored new solutions to the climate challenge and shared best practice, it was also streamed online. Case studies from the event will be shared with central government as part of the UK presidency of COP26.
Councillor Ian Courts, WMCA portfolio lead for environment and energy and leader of Solihull Council, said: “The battle bus visit provided an opportunity to see inspiring projects being undertaken by organisations across the UK to reduce their carbon emissions. They show what is possible and will hopefully inspire local businesses to consider what actions they can take to help us achieve our target.
“We all need to play a part in creating a sustainable future for the region and the UK. Hopefully the visit will let more people understand what net zero carbon really means, why it is important, and how individuals and organisations can help our region become net zero by 2041.”
The tour is designed to empower British firms and their employees to become part of a greater national effort to protect the environment by demystifying what is needed to achieve net zero. It also aims to highlight the good work many companies are already doing to address their carbon output.
The Zero Carbon Tour is part of the UK’s contribution to the United Nation’s ‘Race to Zero’ campaign. It is being coordinated by BEIS. The department is working with regional and local authorities, Planet Mark and the Institute of Directors, among others. It is the government’s flagship campaign to raise awareness among the business community about the urgent need for firms to cut their carbon emissions.