Manchester City Council has signed a letter to the European Council and its member states, calling for the European Union and its institutions to reach zero-carbon status by 2050.
The letter has been endorsed by hundreds of mayors and heads of local government from European cities, including the leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese. It affirms that current international energy and climate policies do not go far enough to limit global warming and reminds heads of state of their obligations to future generations.
The letter also demands the development of a new long-term climate strategy for Europe, which would see EU carbon emissions peak by 2020, more than halve by 2030 and reach net-zero by 2050. It calls for fossil fuel subsidies to removed from the EU’s long-term budget and demands that all member states make binding commitments to net-zero emissions targets.
This March, Manchester City Council formally adopted a science-based plan to reduce emissions by 13 per cent year-on-year and make Manchester a zero-carbon city by 2038. The plan was produced by the Manchester Climate Change Agency, in line with research carried out by the world-renowned Tyndall Centre, at the University of Manchester.
Young people are expected to gather in cities around the world, including Manchester, today (Friday 24 May) as part of a ‘global climate strike’, calling on civic leaders to take urgent action to protect the planet.
Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “As a city, we are seeking to work collectively with other cities leading the way in tackling climate change and calling on everybody to do their bit - which is why we’re signing this call for the European Council to act now.
“Young people want to be part of an ambitious global movement for action on climate change and rightly expect Manchester to play its full part.
“The zero-carbon future is filled with economic opportunities and as a city where innovation thrives, Manchester is determined reap the benefits by generating new technologies and employment opportunities through the growing green sector.”
Manchester will be holding a climate action summit for young people, providing a forum for them to make their voices heard about climate change, question politicians and other agencies about what they are doing to address this issue and influence action for change. All schools in the city will be invited to send a group of representatives to attend the summit, which will take place on Friday 12 July 2019 at The Whitworth (1 - 4pm, Great Hall).
Executive Member for Skills, Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, said: "The climate action summit provides us with an exciting opportunity to work with our city's young people and ensure that they are fully involved in how we make our city zero-carbon in less than 20 years. Through this forum, we will hear their views loud and clear and I'm sure we will be both challenged and inspired by their passionate belief in the need to take action now, to build a better future for us all."