Climate change is a very real threat to natural life on Earth, as greenhouse gas emissions continue to have direct and devastating impacts on everything from small, localised habitats to large-scale weather formations. The fightback has been long underway in the UK and around the world but reached a new level in the beginning of 2022 – with the city of Birmingham playing a key role.
A Unique Place in British History
Birmingham is an industrial city with real national heritage, having been a leading force in the Industrial Revolution. Aside from remaining the largest UK city outside of London, Birmingham attained new national and historical relevance with regard to the ongoing fight against climate change.
This is because, in January of 2022, Birmingham became the first city to host the Climate Change Committee. The Climate Change Committee is a relatively new statutory body, created as a direct result of the Climate Change Act 2008 to act as an independent force for good regarding co-ordinating a decentralised and national fight against pollution.
Its first official gathering took place in Birmingham, where the scene was set for the organisation’s involvement in drawing up climate change ideas and initiatives. Throughout the three-day CCC event, the committee and Birmingham Council representatives met a wide array of individuals from across Birmingham’s industries and communities.
Active Changes to Reduce Carbon Footprints
The CCC’s aims are essentially to co-ordinate the activity of smaller regional groups with a wider national mandate to kerb greenhouse gas emissions. This national mandate was set and accelerated via conversations at COP summits, the 26th of which took place in Glasgow at the end of 2021.
The COP 26 summit was a bellwether summit for a number of reasons, as wild weather patterns began to worsen on a global scale. The results of the summit were watched closely, as international co-operation was necessary to mount a meaningful climate protection strategy.
Some of the key results of the COP summit related to the regulation and management of private enterprises, acknowledging the proportional burden they bear to redress the balance. As a result of these findings, more businesses sought ESG consulting (Environmental, Social and Governance) to align internal processes and policies with public mood and eventual legislation.
2023, and Beyond
But there is concern amongst climate campaigners that the government initiatives and new regulation is too little, too late – and that the coming years will see something of an existential challenge facing nations around the world.
The CCC’s aims are admirable, as it continues to assess the merits of potential legislation and offer new advice for a growing crisis, but the present moment is a difficult one politically. Government ministers are divided over the UK’s approach to climate change, with some doubling down on pollutive energy sources and others pushing for new innovation – leading to a dangerous deadlock.