SEA welcomes West Midlands Mayor’s challenge to drive collaboration on clean air solutions

Categories: Press Release

Today on Clean Air Day the West Midlands Mayor launches his ‘Mayor’s Clean Growth Challenge’    saying  the West Midlands has a “moral responsibility” to lead on clean growth. The Mayor’s challenges dare tech innovators, artists, politicians, academics and business leaders to collaborate on innovative solutions to cut pollution over the region to set an example for the rest of the UK.

The Sustainable Energy Association (SEA) welcomes this initiative by the West Midlands which centres on the creation of more low-carbon buildings, clean transport systems and a new approach to clean energy leadership in the region. It follows on from the  Grand Challenge Mission, to halve the energy use of new build homes set out by the Government in  2018. The SEA’s report  ‘Halving Energy Use of New Homes’ sets out how this can be achieved.

The SEA is a UK wide organisation proud to be based in the West Midlands and to support regional programmes and initiatives to reduce climate change, improve the air we breathe and improve health and wellbeing.  SEA Chief Executive, Lesley Rudd, sits on the Board of West Midlands Energy Capital, the policy and delivery body for energy in the West Midlands, reporting to the Mayor.

Commenting on the Mayor’s announcement, Lesley said:

“I am encouraged that the Mayor has highlighted achieving low carbon buildings as one of four clean growth challenges for the West Midlands. Our buildings are a significant contributor to carbon emissions and air quality, and it is crucial that we reduce these emissions by improving energy efficiency and decarbonising the way we heat our buildings. The Sustainable Energy Association is a West Midlands based organization, we are industry leaders in energy in buildings and committed to ensuring that our buildings are energy efficient, low carbon and warm. We look forward to working collaboratively with the Mayor and other organisations across the region to deliver on this challenge.”

The Mayor has set out four separate Clean Growth Challenges for the region:

  • Clean Energy Leadership Challenge: Consider ways to replace the £10 billion currently spent importing mainly carbon-based power, gas and transport fuel to save money and create new jobs. This could include generating greater public, private and community sector leadership to produce more clean energy.  
  • Low Carbon Buildings Challenge: Consider how to accelerate retro-fitting the built environment, including business and public sector buildings, homes, and particularly homes of people in fuel poverty, to create low-carbon, energy efficient buildings. The
  • Clean Transport Systems Challenge: Fossil fuel-based petrol and diesel transport is causing premature deaths with toxic pollution while damaging public health. Consider a shift to clean fuel technology for all transport, including cars, lorries, buses, trains and planes, with electric, hydrogen/fuel cells and hybrid alternatives.
  • Behavioural Change Challenge: Consider how to change people’s behaviour to reduce pollution. This could include new ways to raise public awareness of atmospheric pollution, while showcasing a range of solutions and what people can do to make a difference. 

For more information on how the SEA can support tech innovators and others involved in clean growth across the UK, and achieve the Clean Growth Missions please get in touch with one of our Policy Advisors, Sam Crichton at For more information on our ‘Halving Energy Use of New Homes’ paper and other published resources, please visit