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Manchester council announce zero carbon target

Council bosses have announced plans to make Manchester a zero-carbon city by 2038 or earlier – 12 years ahead of the national target.

A spokesman for Manchester City Council (MCC) said the city would need to reduce its emissions by 13% in order to achieve the target, which is based on research carried out by the Tyndall Centre for climate change research at the University of Manchester.

To aid the effort, key Manchester institutions and businesses have joined together to form the Manchester Climate Change Partnership, coordinated by the Manchester Climate Change Agency, with each member developing their own individual carbon reduction plans.

The partnership, which is made up of more than 60 organisations who are collectively responsible for more than 20% of the city’s emissions, will appoint a new chief executive in the new year who will be responsible for accelerating the recruitment of more of the city’s organisations to contribute to the citywide zero-carbon effort.

The council, which declared a climate emergency in July and is directly responsible for around two per cent of the city’s total carbon emissions, has also revealed plans to set an 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.

Executive member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, cllr 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 has made some significant progress over the last 12 months.

‘It has 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.’

Photo Credit – Manchester City Council

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