The Midlands Engine brought together high profile business and public sector leaders alongside academic experts from across the Midlands at a virtual roundtable to discuss how the region can play a leading role in driving a green, sustainable economic recovery after COVID-19.
The roundtable was held amidst growing calls that a green recovery driven stimulus package is critical to ensuring the UK economy is resilient and sustainable in the long term.
Chaired by Midlands Engine Chairman Sir John Peace, the roundtable was hosted in partnership with law firm Browne Jacobson and attended by representatives from Aston Martin Lagonda, Black Country Consortium, Bosch Thermotechnology, British Geological Survey, D2N2 LEP, Gallagher Bassett, Loughborough University, Make UK, Serco Institute, Staffline, Standard Chartered, TechUK, University of Birmingham and the West Midlands Combined Authority. The Midlands Engine Observatory opened the meeting with analysis on the current environmental challenges – and regional opportunities ahead.
The discussions explored the region’s unique position in supporting a green economic recovery package and the key opportunities and challenges it posed, particularly in relation to job creation, reskilling the workforce and the impact of technology and new ways of working.
After the roundtable Sir John Peace, said:
“Partners from across the Midlands Engine understand the issues we are facing – and today brought ideas, energy and commitment to helping ensure a sustainable future for our region. Change is needed – and the pace of change needed is rapid: climate change is urgent. Our discussions today explored many aspects of what a ‘green recovery’ means for our region as the UK moves towards achieving its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“It was an opportunity to listen to and debate with many key stakeholders on the issues that matter to them – and what hear views on we need prioritise, what we need to act on – now. We are committed to exploring further how our region can play an influential role in shaping the Government’s plans for economic revival.”
Peter Ware, head of Government at Browne Jacobson, added:
“The pandemic has given us an opportunity to take a step back and re-think our entire approach towards delivering sustainable growth and prosperity.
“It was fascinating to hear the thoughts and views of some of the region’s key stakeholders on how we can closely align an economic stimulus package with the green agenda.”
Sir John Peace added
“There is no doubt a green growth agenda poses real challenges and is likely to require policy, financial and philosophical commitment from a wide stakeholder group. The Midlands Engine partnership is well placed to help shape the conversation, highlighting those issues which mean most to our region, and where we can act quickest to bring about change. The valuable insights shared in the roundtable will directly inform our ongoing work in partnership and discussions with key decision makers.”