The Council and democracy Climate Change

History of Climate Change in Manchester

We have been working alongside many years delivering actions on the climate change agenda. 


We approved the 'Principles of Tackling Climate Change in Manchester', from which we could develop an action plan outlining how Manchester will become a low-carbon city by 2020.
The principles cover issues ranging from appropriate target setting and consistency with the UK Climate Change Act, through to the need to build climate change awareness and skills into the mainstream education system. The principles provided a base from which a range of activity can be and has been undertaken, including the delivery of our Eco-Schools programme and the use of Manchester's Local Area Agreement to make further commitment to reducing carbon emissions.

Principles of Tackling Climate Change report


Building on the commitments made in the report, the 'Climate Change Call to Action' was released. This set out new ways of thinking about climate change and describes how taking early action on climate change can deliver an even better city in which to live and work.

The Call to Action stated that by 2020 we need to have reduced our emissions by at least one-third and by doing so will:

  • Improve the city's competitiveness and strengthen its economy;
  • Bring new opportunities for existing city businesses and create jobs;
  • Transform and modernise the infrastructure;
  • Assist the regeneration of run-down parts of the city;
  • Enhance its programme of creating neighbourhoods of choice; and
  • Enhance social mobility and quality of everyday life.

The Call to Action was followed by Manchester: A Certain Future in late 2009. This was the city's climate change action plan which is overseen by an independent Steering Group. Manchester: A Certain Future (MACF) had the following aims:

  • To reduce the city's carbon emissions by 41% by 2020;  
  • To engage all individuals, neighbourhoods and organisations in a process of cultural change that embeds low carbon thinking into the lifestyles and operations of the city;
  • Prepare for and actively adapt to a rapidly changing climate; and
  • Make a rapid transition to a low carbon economy.

This plan set headline actions for just one decade - to 2020 - but it also provided a strong starting point for a much longer journey, through to 2050 and a radically changed, low carbon future where large-scale emissions of carbon dioxide have become a thing of the past.


We set out our commitments in the Climate Change Delivery Plan, which fell into two main categories:

  • internal - reduce our own CO2 emissions by 41% and become a low-carbon authority by 2020 from a 2009/10 baseline; and
  • external - provide leadership and influence to the city and its partners and lead on the development of key projects and programmes, where we are best placed to do so.


The Manchester Climate Change Agency and Partnership were established. These are responsible for overseeing and championing climate change action in the city. More information can be found at


We achieved our targets to reduce our emissions by 41% (based on a 2009/10 baseline) by achieving a 48.1% reduction a year ahead of schedule. 


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