Climate change and low emissions pathway mapped out for Greater Manchester
Contributed by Mark Atherton
In setting and committing to achieving a 48% carbon reduction target by 2020 (from 1990) in 2012, Greater Manchester has set out its stall to be a pioneer in local low carbon energy supply and demand alongside supporting low carbon growth, climate change adaptation and wider environmental and societal goals.
The new implementation plan builds on GMs existing work and sets out our priorities to 2020 and beyond. It includes actions to both address climate change and improve Greater Manchester’s air quality. These have been developed in partnership with over 200 individuals and organisations as part of a wide ranging consultation.
The plan’s target is to deliver a reduction in annual emissions of at least 4.2 million tonnes of CO2 from the 2013 baseline, and identifies a pipeline of schemes and initiatives which, if fully implemented, will nearly deliver this. However, there is a gap of circa 0.5 million tonnes between currently identified projects and the 2020 target. More interventions need to be developed and we need to secure a significant step-change in national and local action. This includes heat and power generation technologies including PV, heat networks, onshore wind, smart heat, energy from waste and decarbonising vehicles using the region’s roads. We will need to work with hundreds of organisations who have helped to develop this plan and reach out to every community in Greater Manchester to deliver a cleaner greener, more secure future for our great city.
Chair of Greater Manchester’s Low Carbon Hub, Paul Dennett, said:
“These are exciting times for Greater Manchester, with increasing opportunity to shape our local future through devolution, achieve our local targets and meet our global commitments. The Government has committed to working with Greater Manchester to consider how the design and delivery of national policies and programmes can be better aligned and integrated to support delivery of the region’s low carbon priorities, to protect and enhance the environmental quality and resilience of the conurbation and supporting our burgeoning green economy, of which Greater Manchester are at the forefront. The Climate Change and Low Emission Implementation Plan is integral for GM’s success in achieving these challenging goals through realistic direction and joint action.”
The plan has ensured that Greater Manchester has attained its year one credentials from the Compact of Mayors, a global coalition of mayors and city officials pledging to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change, and to track their progress transparently. The Compact establishes a common platform to capture the impact of cities’ collective actions through standardised measurement of emissions and climate risk, and consistent, public reporting of their efforts.
Greater Manchester has been at the forefront of pioneering new low carbon research and technology. This plan looks at harnessing this knowledge and developing and progressing existing action with a wide range of partners who have been integral to the development of the plan’s challenging targets. Feel free to share and discuss with your colleagues and social circles.
Contributed by Steve Connor
Mark joined AGMA in May 2012 as Director of Environment for Greater Manchester. In this role, Mark provides strategic support to the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub by leading the development and delivery of business plans and investment frameworks for environment and low carbon projects & programmes, plus research & public policy development.