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Manchester unveils five-year climate action plan

The plan will sit alongside a citywide Climate Change Framework which sets out how the city as a whole can reach the agreed target of becoming zero carbon by 2038.

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The plan also looks at how the council can help galvanise wider change needed
The plan also looks at how the council can help galvanise wider change needed

Manchester City Council is proposing a five-year action plan to halve its greenhouse gas emissions.

 

The Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25 sets out the measures the council will take to reduce the carbon emissions from its buildings, energy use and transport from around 30,000 tonnes a year in 2019-20 to around 15,000 tonnes a year in 2024-25.

 

Cutting carbon

 

The plan also looks at how the council can help galvanise the wider change needed through its powers and policies while lobbying government for the funding and broader policy changes to remove barriers to cutting carbon.

 

It will go to the council’s executive for final approval next week, having first been considered by the Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee on 4 March.

 

The plan will sit alongside a citywide Climate Change Framework which sets out how the city as a whole can reach the agreed target of becoming zero carbon by 2038 – 12 years ahead of the national target.

 

“The next five years are going to be absolutely crucial. To achieve the ambitious goal of Manchester becoming zero carbon by 2038, we are going to have to make rapid and radical progress.”

 

It also includes action plans for the 60 organisations which make up the Manchester Climate Change Partnership and together account for around 20 per cent of the city’s direct carbon emissions.

 

“The world is waking up to the very real climate crisis which faces us all, and Manchester – never a city to shirk a challenge – is determined to play a leading part in tackling it,” said councillor Angeliki Stogia, executive member for environment, Manchester City Council.

 

“The next five years are going to be absolutely crucial. To achieve the ambitious goal of Manchester becoming zero carbon by 2038 we are going to have to make rapid and radical progress.”

 

Planned measures include:

  • Retrofitting as many as possible of the 350 buildings in the council’s estate to radically improve energy efficiency. Finishing the first phase of this Carbon Reduction Programme will save 1,800 tonnes a year with the second phase cutting a further 3,000 tonnes
  • A large-scale clean energy generation scheme involving the use of arrays of solar panels and wind turbines on council land and buildings, or sites in third party ownership saving an estimated 7,000 tonnes. A detailed feasibility study and business case will be prepared this year
  • The completion of the Civic Quarter Network (a shared underground heating system) and its connection to the Town Hall, Town Hall extension, Art Gallery and Central Library buildings will contribute another 1,600 tonnes a year carbon saving
  • Replacing half of the council’s refuse collection vehicles, ageing diesel vehicles reaching the end of their lifespans, with 27 new electric vehicles through an investment of £9.95 million to cut 900 tonnes of carbon emissions a year
  • Increasing the number of electric vehicles in the rest of the council’s fleet to save another 400 tonnes a year and cutting 100 tonnes a year through reductions in staff travel
  • Completing the replacement of the city’s street lighting with low-energy LED lighting, a programme now in its final year, will save 220 more tonnes a year.

 

Collective action

 

“As an organisation, tackling the climate emergency is one of our key priorities. But this isn’t something the council can achieve by itself. For Manchester as a whole to become zero carbon by 2038 we need collective action and shared ambition,” added Stogia.

 

“As well as playing our full part that will mean harnessing the power of the city’s people and organisations. I believe this ambitious plan is a very important milestone in our journey.”

 

As well as reducing emissions, there will be measures to help remove carbon from the atmosphere, such as support for the Manchester Tree Action Plan which is setting out to plant 1,000 new trees, 1,000 new hedge trees and four community orchards a year. This will include planting in parks and council-owned spaces.

 

There will be quarterly update reports setting out progress against actions identified in the action plan.

 

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