The new Coventry Climate Change Board finally met on 17 November with the task of helping to shape and move forward actions in Coventry to reduce the impact of climate change.
Presumably this is the same thing as the “Sustainable Development Commission” which Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council Cabinet Member Jobs and Regeneration wrote about to CovCAN reporter Elliot Parker in July 2020. See https://covcan.uk/coventry-facing-the-challenge-of-climate-change/ for the full message.
So, with a huge sense of the urgency of the need to halt global warming, Councillor O’Boyle only took 16 months set up this board. Well done Jim!
The Board consists of senior leaders from organisations across Coventry and will meet regularly, presumably more often than once every 16 months, to share policies, plans, good practice and work together collaboratively in an effort to keep the city on track for a zero carbon future.
The Board is an independent board. The secretariat is managed by Coventry City Council.
For a list of Board members, see here. It consists of senior representatives from businesses, public service providers and community organisations. No members of the public or community groups concerned directly with climate change are allowed on the Board.
The Board is chaired by Margot James, the former Conservative government as Minister of State for Digital and Creative Industries under Theresa May and Executive Chair for the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at the University of Warwick. At the Board’s creation she said:
“I want to be involved in the Board because I believe organisations must collaborate if we are to reduce our carbon footprint. This applies to the public sector and the commercial sector, charities and voluntary groups of all sizes. At WMG we are working with industry to develop solutions that will have a long-term impact on climate change, including electrification of transport from passenger cars to very light rail vehicles, and developing sustainable manufacturing processes.
“I want this Board to make a difference and cut through any blockages preventing action within and between the organisations we represent to develop collaborative solutions to sometimes complex issues. Ultimately, we need to set out actions and win hearts and minds. We also want to communicate how residents of all ages can be involved. It’s about the wellbeing of future generations in the city.”
Coventry Climate Action Network wrote to her and offered to help the Board to communicate with Coventry citizens and young people. We received no response.
Ms James went on: “I expect more organisations will be invited to join the Board in the coming months.”
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change at the Council, added: “As a local authority we are applying innovative approaches and technologies but no one organisation can work alone to address a low carbon future. I hope that as a Board and a combined group of organisations we can come together to identify new ways of working together. I’m sure that we will be able to deliver a range of cost-effective schemes to invest in a more sustainable future for the city.”
Yes Jim, eventually you might get round to it!