Residents across the West Midlands are being offered the opportunity to put forward their ideas and solutions to help improve the natural environment, tackle climate change, and reach net zero.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) is setting up the Greener Together Citizens’ Panel to examine key environmental challenges such as how to continue to improve the quality of the air we breathe and our green spaces.

Also on the panel’s agenda will be how to support people to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and places of work, and how communities can adapt to the effects of climate change.

Invitations to join the panel will be sent to 9,000 randomly selected households across the region. Once registration has closed, 30 people from those who expressed an interest will be offered a place.

Residents do not need any expertise to apply and during their term they will get the opportunity to learn about key issues from experts and then discuss them with each other and people in their own communities. They will come up with their collective recommendations which will be presented to the WMCA’s energy and environment board.

The panel’s views and lived experiences will make an important contribution to the ‘greener’ work the WMCA and its partners are already doing.

In its Natural Environment Plan, the WMCA sets out actions that will help to enhance biodiversity, protect endangered species, and improve access to green spaces and waterways.

The #WM2041 Action Plan outlines what is needed to drive a cut in carbon of around 25 per cent by 2026 to keep the region on course to meet its target of being net zero within the next 20 years.

Jacqueline Homan, head of environment at the WMCA, said: “The Greener Together Citizens’ Panel will be a fantastic opportunity for residents to get directly involved in the work we’re doing.

“We are really keen to work with residents who want to understand the energy and environment issues that we’re facing across the region and to think about ways we can design practical interventions to create a fairer, greener and healthier region for all of us.”