Report sets out Manchester's progress towards zero-carbon goal

Manchester City Council’s Executive will be updated on the latest progress towards Manchester’s zero-carbon goal, through a report to be discussed on Thursday 19 December.

Key Manchester institutions and businesses have joined together as members of the Manchester Climate Change Partnership, under the coordination of the Manchester Climate Change Agency - with each member developing their own individual carbon reduction plans.

More than 60 organisations who are collectively responsible for more than 20 per cent of the city’s emissions have already joined the Partnership, which formed in 2018.  With funding support from the council, a new Chief Executive is to be appointed to the Partnership in the new year and will be tasked with accelerating the recruitment of more of the city’s organisations to contribute to the citywide zero-carbon effort.
 
On behalf of Manchester, the council has adopted a target of becoming zero-carbon by 2038 or earlier - 12 years ahead of the national target.  The Manchester target, set in accordance with research carried out by the renowned Tyndall Centre for climate change research at the University of Manchester, requires the city’s emissions to be reduced by approximately 13 per cent per year.

To ensure that the city’s climate change action plan is underpinned by expert analysis, the Tyndall Centre have been commissioned by the Manchester Climate Change Agency to undertake a review of global best practice for cities and provide further recommendations, including examining the possibility of accelerating the city’s existing zero-carbon target from 2038 at the latest to 2030.  The Tyndall Centre will present its findings to the next meeting of the council’s Climate Change Sub Group, on Thursday 23 January.

The council, which declared a climate emergency in July, is directly responsible for around two per cent of the city’s total carbon emissions.  It almost halved its emissions between 2009/10 and 2018/9, with further reductions being achieved through initiatives such as a street lighting replacement programme, a £2.6m carbon reduction programme for council buildings and the installation of a new Civic Quarter Heat Network, to power buildings including the Town Hall, Town Hall Extension and Central Library.  

To go further, the council plans to set a much more ambitious internal emissions reductions target for 2020 - 2025, with a new action plan to be brought to the Executive for consideration in March, while also looking at how the council's leadership role can support the whole city in cutting its emissions.

The Greater Manchester Industrial Strategy has established the UK's first city region 'Clean Growth Mission' for carbon-neutral living within the Greater Manchester economy by 2038.  This approach will drive innovation, the creation of new technologies, improved resource efficiency and improved quality of life.  Associated projects are expected to include carbon neutral retrofits and new builds, 21st-century energy supply and sustainable transportation.

Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “Manchester will become zero-carbon by the earliest possible date.  We want our city to be at the forefront of the global response to the climate emergency and will continue to bring forward policies and schemes which support our science-based emission reductions target.

"However, it should be recognised that the council cannot do this on its own and that every one of us has an important part to play.

"Achieving the zero-carbon goal requires action to fundamentally change the way the city operates, which is why we’re calling on Manchester’s key organisations to help write the next chapter in the city’s proud history of radical action by joining the Manchester Climate Change Partnership and pledging to support this vital agenda.”  

Jonny Sadler, Programme Director for the Manchester Climate Change Agency, said: "Manchester City Council have made some significant progress over the last 12 months. They've formally committed Manchester to some of the most challenging climate change targets in the world, declared a climate emergency and at the same time continued to take practical action to decarbonise.  However, as with all members of Manchester Climate Change Partnership, we need to see this as the start of a much bigger and more ambitious programme of work.

"The route to zero carbon doesn't come with a well-thumbed route map we can borrow from other cities.  That's the price of being a leader.  But it does come with the potential for rich rewards - good jobs, healthy and happy residents and thriving, socially responsible businesses. I look forward to continuing our work with the Council to ensure they can make their full contribution to helping Manchester to reduce its CO2 emissions by 50% over the next 5 years and becoming zero carbon by 2038."

To download the report, go to the Executive meeting Agenda page.

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