PM urged to back Black Country's pioneering decarbonisation scheme

A Black Country MP has called on Boris Johnson to back a new scheme aimed at reducing the region's reliance on fossil fuels.

Boris Johnson speaking during PMQs
Boris Johnson speaking during PMQs

Dudley South MP Mike Wood wants Government backing for the Repowering the Black Country initiative, which aims to develop four zero carbon industrial hubs in the region as part of the drive towards net zero.

Mr Wood said the Black Country could become a "pilot project" for decarbonisation.

Speaking during this week's Prime Minister's Questions, he said: "Government support for households is greatly appreciated, but high energy costs are causing massive problems for businesses, particularly in energy-intensive manufacturing.

"Will the Prime Minister support the Repowering the Black Country initiative, which is backed by the local enterprise partnership and by Andy Street, to reduce reliance on fossil fuels?

"Will he meet me to look at how the Black Country can be a pilot project to decarbonise, reduce costs and protect the region’s manufacturing jobs?

Dudley South MP Mike Wood

Mr Johnson said: "In addition to the £1,200 for the eight million most vulnerable households, we are providing £400 to help everybody with the cost of energy.

"We are supporting the Black Country with cost-efficient energy infrastructure, and the region has already received £1.5 million to develop a cluster plan for decarbonisation."

Repowering the Black Country was officially launched at an event in Westminster on Wednesday.

Its mission statement pledges to "create the physical and organisational infrastructure which enables the Black Country zero carbon industrial cluster vision to become a reality".

It adds: "This includes a network of zero carbon industrial hubs.

"They will be built around anchor industrial processes and supported by complementary flexible manufacturing as well as service operations and cost-effective zero carbon energy infrastructure."

West Midlands Mayor Mr Street, said: "I’m delighted to see the Black Country at the forefront of our efforts to respond to the global climate crisis, and repowering the Black Country shows that we can create jobs and opportunities through decarbonisation."

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