Net Zero to Level Up: Securing a just transition for the Black Country 2023-2032


The transition to a net zero economy by 2050 will have profound implications for every region of the UK. But different parts of the country will face different opportunities and challenges during the transition. In this report, we have explored what the transition to net zero could mean for both individuals and businesses in the Black Country – using this as a case study for a place-based approach to net zero policy making.

We found that in the absence of additional action, up to 12,000 individuals currently working in manufacturing – 20% of the Black Country manufacturing workforce – could become long-term unemployed by 2032.

In the 2023 Spring Budget, Jeremy Hunt announced a ‘trailblazer deeper devolution deal’ between the government and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) which gives the WMCA new powers to influence the region’s economy. Our recommendations include how the Combined Authority should use some of these additional devolved powers to achieve a just transition – one which increases opportunity and reduces deprivation – in the Black Country. We predict that there could be up to 20,000 new net zero
jobs in the Black Country by 2032.

Read out report in full.