The following article first appeared on Coventry City Council website on February 18.
Coventry has taken a bold step to facilitate the development of an independent partnership with local businesses, public and community organisations
To drive forward changes to address Coventry’s impact on climate change and the environment.
Five key themes have been identified by the new Independent Climate Change Board for Coventry, and each is led by influential leaders of key organisations and institutions in the city.
The activities support Coventry by integrating solutions which make an impact on, our people, our neighbourhoods and our environment. They include how we use energy, support wildlife, address inequalities such as fuel poverty, reduce waste and find ways to deal with the effects of climate change like flooding and over-heating.
Chris Lovatt, Chief Operating Officer, UK Solutions for E.ON is the new chair of the Low emission development pathway group. This pathway covers how we reduce pollution and emissions in the city. This could be through promoting renewable energy, more efficient buildings, encouraging sustainable travel as well as reducing and changing the way in which we consume energy overall.
Chris explained: “Coventry is E.ON’s home city so naturally we’re very happy to use our expertise and experiences to support Coventry in becoming a cleaner, greener city and drive forward plans to take action against the climate crisis and create a more sustainable city.”
“At E.ON we work alongside cities, local authorities and with residents to look at how we can help them reduce their energy use, cut their bills and carbon emissions, whether that is by better insulating properties or giving people a better understanding of their energy consumption.
“We are also applying new technologies; installing heat pumps, solar panels, batteries and getting ready for electric vehicles and finding the best ways to electrify our heating and transportation needs, which now make up the majority of emissions across the country.”
Margot James, Executive Chair for WMG at the University of Warwick, and former minister for culture, communications and creative industries, is the chair of the Coventry Climate Change Board.
Margot said: “Coventry’s Climate Change Board is bringing together key city stakeholders to draw up a set of actions that will meet the carbon reduction targets set by the Council. I’m delighted to be joined on the Board by the University of Warwick’s Provost Professor Chris Ennew OBE and Russell Hall, Senior Research Fellow at WMG who will also be leading the Circular Development, pathway group.
“I appreciate very much the excellent support the board is getting from local industry, utilities, public services and the voluntary sector. Together with the citizens of Coventry, I am optimistic that we can bring about real change for the better.
“I’m grateful to have E.ON supporting this important agenda for Coventry and I welcome Chris Lovatt, Chief Operating Officer, UK Solutions at E.ON, who is the first expert leading one of our key areas; the Lower emissions development pathway group. We have also identified the following people; Russ Hall, Ed Green and Geraldine Tsakirakis who will be leading the Circular Development, Nature-based and Equitable and Resilience pathway groups. In the coming months, we will identify further leads all of whom will be experts in their fields.”
The new Climate Change Board met for its second meeting recently. Senior leaders from organisations across Coventry are helping to shape and move forward actions to reduce the impact of climate change and are meeting regularly to share policies, plans, good practice and work together collaboratively in an effort to keep the city on track for a zero-carbon future.
Margot added: “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, cutting through any blockages preventing action within and between the organisations we represent, to develop solutions to complex challenges together.”
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change at the Council, added: “It’s great to have experts steering the work of the board and I’m sure that we will be able to share innovative approaches.”