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West Midlands State of the Nation report sets climate change agenda

West Midlands homeowners and buyers can do more for themselves with better information to make 'greener' choices, the ICE West Midlands has said. The ICE West Midlands' State of the nation report on climate change was revealed last week, to coincide with the end of Ed Gardiner's year as regional president.
Gardiner said: "We all need to think harder about how efficiently we live our lives. Joined up thinking and joined up infrastructure can create a joined up environment, where civil engineers provide the means for communities and commerce to seamlessly live a better life."

The report points out the vital role for engineering in making buildings more fuel and heat efficient, and praises local housing and development schemes in Bilston and Longbridge which minimise carbon emissions.

"Fundamental changes need to be made in lifestyle and expectations to manage the world's resources and adapt to changes already happening.

"The West Midlands, as a highly populated region with an economy based on manufacture and transport, has a lead to take in this respect," he said.

The incoming chair wants to continue examining how engineering can reduce carbon emissions, but also wants a greater marriage between education and the workplace.

"Closer ties between classroom and workplace are essential if civil engineering's importance to society is to be realised", said Len Threadgold, who took over as regional chairman last week.

Closer links will benefit both groups, and encourage young people to learn about the life of a civil engineer. "Young people will pick up enthusiasm from older, working civil engineers. But teachers can also convey the pleasure of civil engineering.

"It is not just the students but the teachers who need to be more aware of its challenges and opportunities.

"We already have very good links between firms and academic institutions and we need to engage them in more than just recruitment activities. The West Midlands has terrific resources at university level and we need to make the most of that," he said.

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