City to host sum­mit on fu­ture of elec­tric cars Ma­jor coup as global lead­ers head in for con­fer­ence

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Jonathan Walker Po­lit­i­cal Edi­tor

BIRM­ING­HAM is to host an in­ter­na­tional sum­mit of world lead­ers and in­dus­try ex­perts to dis­cuss the move to pol­lu­tion–free cars.

It comes as the UK pre­pares for a ban on new petrol and diesel ve­hi­cles, due in 2040.

The Bri­tish govern­ment has or­gan­ised the sum­mit, which takes place at the ICC in Broad Street on Septem­ber 12.

Se­nior politi­cians from across the world will join rep­re­sen­ta­tives of car–mak­ing firms, aca­demics and fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, at what the Govern­ment says is the first event of its kind.

They will dis­cuss the com­ing rev­o­lu­tion in trans­port, as coun­tries move to­wards zero–emis­sion ve­hi­cles. Th­ese are ve­hi­cles which do not ad­mit par­ti­cles into the at­mos­phere, such as elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

Min­is­ters say they want the UK to lead the way in the de­sign and pro­duc­tion of the ve­hi­cles.

Busi­ness Sec­re­tary Greg Clark said: “The Mid­lands has a rich au­to­mo­tive her­itage and the growth of high–tech man­u­fac­tur­ing across the re­gion con­tin­ues to drive in­vest­ment into the re­gion, pro­duce highly skilled jobs and boost eco­nomic growth – mak­ing it an ideal place to lead the world in zero emis­sion ve­hi­cles.

“Our mod­ern In­dus­trial Strat­egy sets out plans for the tran­si­tion to ul­tra-low and zero emis­sions ve­hi­cle tech­nol­ogy and this sum­mit, bring­ing to­gether global lead­ers in the green ve­hi­cle rev­o­lu­tion, is an im­por­tant step on the road to mak­ing that am­bi­tion a re­al­ity.”

It is es­ti­mated that air pol­lu­tion could be killing more than 1,000 peo­ple in the West Mid­lands ev­ery year.

Min­is­ters have pub­lished a clean air strat­egy as part of a drive to halve the num­ber of pre­ma­ture deaths caused by air pol­lu­tion across the Eu­ro­pean Union by 2030. How­ever, ve­hi­cles are not the only cul­prit, as wood­burn­ing stoves are partly to blame. Pro­pos­als in­clude al­low­ing coun­cils to crack down on “dirty” fu­els – in­clud­ing some wet­ter types of wood – and en­force “no burn” days. Trans­port Sec­re­tary Chris Grayling said: “The Govern­ment is com­mit­ted to meet­ing our cli­mate change targets and clean­ing up our air and to help achieve that we are in­vest­ing £1.5 bil­lion in ul­tra–low emis­sion ve­hi­cles by 2021.

“This ground–break­ing event shows Bri­tain lead­ing the way in de­vel­op­ing the new tech­nol­ogy that will cre­ate new jobs and help im­prove the air we breathe.

“And with a proud his­tory in pi­o­neer­ing ve­hi­cle man­u­fac­tur­ing, Birm­ing­ham is ex­actly the right lo­ca­tion to show­case the in­no­va­tions of the fu­ture.”

> The govern­ment has or­gan­ised the sum­mit at Birm­ing­ham’s ICC on Septem­ber 12

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