Liam Byrne will today say the Tory Mayor of the West
Midlands has missed a huge opportunity to declare a Climate Emergency and put
in place a Green New Deal to tackle spiralling youth unemployment.

The Tory mayor, Andy Street, today launches his local industrial strategy - without any timetable to deliver a carbon neutral region and no plan to tackle youth unemployment which has soared by 18% in the last year.

Speaking with young people at the Birmingham Jobs Fair, Liam Byrne will welcome the success of Labour’s local leaders in Coventry and Birmingham in convincing ministers to agree new funding for electric vehicle technology. But he will also publish new figures from the House of Commons library revealing the moral emergency of youth unemployment which has soared by 18% in the last year.

  • Over 16,000 young people are now out of work - an increase of 18% or 2,260 in the last year
  • The Tory mayor has failed to declare a climate emergency - unlike 98 local councils (covering 30% of the British population) around the country
  • No timetable has been set for the West Midlands metro area becoming carbon neutral
  • No plan has been set out for mobilising investments in decarbonising housing, industry and transport in a way that creates local jobs, and lifts families out of poverty.

Byrne will today publish the results of the first West
Midlands Citizen Assembly which he helped convene last week to plan a route-map
to becoming a zero-carbon region - and underline his commitment to bringing a
Green New Deal to the West Midlands.

Liam Byrne will say:

‘Our Labour leaders have worked miracles to convince
the Government to invest in our electric vehicles revolution.

‘But it’s clear good people across our region want a
far bolder plan to become Britain’s first zero-carbon city-region, with a
blueprint to create careers for young people and lift 300,000 families out of
fuel poverty.

‘Frankly the Tory Mayor should have started by
insisting ministers hand over the £209 million they promised us to build new
homes. We could be using that money today to give our young people jobs
in building green homes with zero energy bills for local families’.

‘Instead, youth unemployment in the West Midlands has soared, with 16,000 of our young people now out of work. This is a moral emergency that requires radical action.’

‘We are the region that sparked the Carbon Revolution
three centuries ago and led Britain into the Jet Age. Today, we should be
leading the Zero Carbon Revolution. If we step up to this challenge now, we
could be creating jobs for our young people and lifting families out of fuel
poverty.’

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  1. Liam Byrne will be meeting young people at the Birmingham Jobs Fair in the Council House, Birmingham which is running from 10am-2pm, Friday 17 May 2019
  2. New research commissioned by Liam Byrne from the House of Commons Library shows over 16,000 young people are now out of work.

Further information

Contact: Harry Kind, 0207 219 6727, kindh@parliament.uk.