Manchester plays its part in crucial climate change summit

As the eyes of the world turn to COP26 in Glasgow, the most important climate change conference since the Paris Agreement in 2015, Manchester City Council will be calling for urgent action.

Manchester has set a target of becoming zero carbon by 2038 – 12 years ahead of the national target – and Manchester City Council’s Climate Change Action Plan has outlined how it will lead by example by reducing the Council’s own direct emissions by 50 per cent by 2025.

The council will be participating in COP26, which runs from Sunday 31 October to Friday 12 November, both to join concerted calls for change and to highlight existing good practice and opportunities.

Cllr Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment, will be joining local and regional government leaders from around the world in signing the Glasgow Food and Climate Declaration at Glasgow City Chambers on Saturday 6 November. The declaration recognises that food systems currently account for around one third of global emissions and that transforming the way the food we eat is produced, transported and consumed has a huge role to play in tackling climate change. It notes that cities (such as Manchester where the multi-agency Food Board, chaired by Cllr Rawlins, is developing a food strategy looking at the role of food in tackling climate change, poverty and obesity) are leading the way but that the national and international debate needs to catch up. For more information about the declaration visit

The Council will also be signing the Edinburgh declaration, a commitment to tackling the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss by integrating nature-based solutions into city planning. Details on the declaration can be found at

One of the Council’s 27 recently-purchased electric bin lorries, operated by waste and recycling contractor Biffa, will be on display to highlight the carbon savings possible through councils electrifying their vehicles. Manchester City Council is believed to have the highest proportion of electric bin lorries of any major council in the country.

Through its membership of the Core Cities group of the UK’s largest cities outside London, the Council will also be supporting a series of events hosted by the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission which will be promoting investment opportunities in net zero projects.

Meanwhile Manchester will also be hosting its own COP26 ‘Green Zone’ event at Escape from Freight Island, Mayfield depot, on Tuesday 9 November. Power to the People: Enabling a Smart Energy Transition will examine the future for energy production and use in the North West.

Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment, who will be travelling up to Glasgow by train, said: “The eyes of the world will be on Glasgow during COP26 and climate change will be rightly top of the global agenda. The next few days will be an urgent reminder of the need for us all - from governments and global corporations to individuals – to step up in order to drastically reduce carbon emissions and limit the damaging impacts of climate change.

“It’s a cause that we have long been committed to in Manchester. We are already seeing – through extreme weather events such as flooding – the impact of climate breakdown right here. The next few days will be a reminder to us all what’s at stake, how far we have come but also how much further there is to go and how there can be no let up in reducing our emissions.”

The Council has updated the Zero Carbon of its website detailing the work it is doing to cut its own direct carbon emissions as part of the city’s target to become zero carbon by 2038. To find out more, visit www.manchester/zerocarbon

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