Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub. Delivering Greater Manchester's transition to a low-carbon economy

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Greater Manchester's sustainability in numbers

It’s greener than you’d think, literally.

There are ten million trees in Greater Manchester according to the Greater Manchester 2011 aerial tree audit. Total tree cover is 16.2% of land area, ranging from 9.2% in the borough of Oldham to a whopping 24.7% in Stockport. [1]

The borough of Manchester’s tree cover is 20.3% up from from 15.4% in 2005, a 31% increase attributable to canopies growing in size and a fifth to new planting. [2]
 
More broadly Greater Manchester is over 60% green space such as parks, woodland and gardens. Even the central area of Manchester is 58% green, of which 31% is private or domestic garden space. [3]

In Manchester alone, since 2009, more than 26,600 trees have been planted on known schemes, including 26 new community orchards and fruit tree groves. [4]

Again in Manchester alone (rather than all ten boroughs of Greater Manchester) there are more Nature Reserves. In 2005, Manchester had one Local Nature Reserve (LNR) covering 19 hectares. Today it has formally designated 8 LNRs, covering 392 hectares. equivalent to 0.78 ha/1,000 head of population. Plans are in place to meet the target set by Natural England of 1ha of LNR/1,000 by 2014 /15. [5]

There are 200km of canals across Greater Manchester with almost 14million visits each year for tourism or recreation. There are also 770km of rivers and watercourses. [6]


There’s a thriving green economy.

In total, the Low Carbon and Environment Goods and Services sector in Greater Manchester employs 37,000 people across 2,000 businesses. We’ve got the largest ‘green economy’ sector outside London and the South East, accounting for 5% of UK output. [7]

In a stagnant economic climate, the sector’s sales grew by 4% in 2011/12 to reach £5.4billion. Exports in the sector grew by 2.9% between 2010/11 and 2011/12 to £529million. In 2012/13 its growth rate is forecast to be 4.1%, rising to 4.3% in 2013/14 and then to 4.4% in 2014/15. [8]

The three largest business areas in our green sector are currently 54% low carbon services, 28% renewable energy and 18% environmental services. The biggest future opportunities for our green sector are expected to be for engineering in renewable energy industry, particularly in the wind, biomass and geothermal sub-sectors. [9]

In the 2012 Greater Manchester Business Survey 87% of businesses across all sectors reported that cost pressures on energy and materials are key issues for them. [10]

Greater Manchester’s ‘Mini Stern’ found that the City Region could lose an estimated £20billion by 2020 due to climate change if it fails to adapt and prepare for a shift in climate. [11]

More than 1,800 businesses are registered to the Greater Manchester Environmental Business Pledge and In 2012/13 the scheme achieved £470,121 in cost savings, 2110 tonnes of CO2 saved and safeguarded sales of £364,000. [12]


We’re wasting less, and composting more

Homes across Greater Manchester are currently recycling and composting around 40% of their household waste, compared to 2004/5, when the rate was 14.05%. [13]

Greater Manchester is now diverting 55% of household waste away from landfill and is on target to reach a 50% recycling and composting rate and 75% diversion from landfill by 2015/16. The longer range target is a 60% recycling and composting rate and up to 90% landfill diversion, resulting in 400,000 tonnes per annum of CO2e saved. [14]

Greater Manchester’s Recycling Centres collected 215 tonnes of furniture for re-use in 2012/13. [15]

In August 2013 Recycle for Greater Manchester is getting ready to launch ‘Revive’ compost, a low-cost, blended multi-purpose peat free compost is made from recycled household food and garden waste in Greater Manchester. [16]


We’re taking action on energy and climate change

In 2011 Greater Manchester set a target of a 48% CO2 reduction by 2020 from a 1990 baseline. Annual direct emissions are already 22% lower than this 1990 baseline, almost halfway towards the target but we need to see a 33% reduction needed by 2015 if we want to stay on target. This equates to a total emissions level of 14,000kt CO2 per annum. [17]

The consumption based carbon footprint (which takes into account the goods and services consumed in the area rather than just produced) is estimated at 41.2m tonnes CO2. [18]

In Manchester alone there were 2000 solar photovoltaic (PV) panel installations been registered for the Feed-In-Tariff in Manchester since the scheme was launched in April 2011 and the city centre is home to Europe’s largest vertical PV array, the CIS Tower. [19]

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has become the first UK transport authority to commit to becoming carbon neutral and has reduced its own carbon emissions by 19% over the last three years. [20]

The Greater Manchester ‘Toasty’ campaign has achieved more than 75,000 interventions across households including loft insulations, cavity wall insulation and boiler replacements between 2010–2012. [21]

All 2,200 traffic signal heads in Greater Manchester are currently being replaced with LEDs, making energy savings of around 42% by 2015. LED signals have already reduced our traffic signal energy use by 27% in two years. [22]

Metrolink was the first light rail network in the UK to be powered by green energy – hydroelectricity generated by water. Metrolink now runs on 100% renewable energy generated by biomass. [23]

As part of a wide-ranging programme to deliver carbon literacy training to everyone who lives, works or studies in Greater Manchester, the first 1000 Carbon Literate Citizens have completed their initial training. [24]

Manchester Metropolitan University was judged to be Britain’s Greenest University in the People and Planet league table in 2013. [25]


More people are going green from A to B

While car use has remained static across Greater Manchester cycling levels have increased by 17% since 2005. Currently 25,000 people choose to cycle to work according to 2011 census data. In 2011 alone, it has been estimated that cycling increased by 7% exceeding the forecast  change by 4 percentage points. [26]

By 2025 Greater Manchester has set a target to increase the proportion of short trips
taken by bicycle to 10%. [27]

As part of our Local Sustainable Transport Fund work the target for 2015/16 is to take 26 million km of commuter car journeys off the road each year and turn them into 10 million extra public transport journeys and 2 million extra cycling trips. [28]

Over 26 million passenger journeys are made on our tram system – Metrolink – every year and numbers are increasing as new lines open in 2013 and 2014. Metrolink passenger numbers are predicted to increase to 117% above 2010/11 levels by 2016/17. [29]

Demand for rail travel within Greater Manchester also increased by 10% between 2010/11 and 2011/12. Rail and Metrolink increases are thought to be behind the slight drop (3%) in bus use during 2011/12. [30]

Greater Manchester will soon have 280 ‘green’ hybrid-electric buses – that’s more low carbon buses than anywhere in the UK outside London. [31]

Greater Manchester now has a new electric vehicle charging point network and pay as you go programme. Over 250 charging bays have been installed at key locations across all ten districts, in a scheme operated by Charge Your Car (CYC) a leader in EV charging networks. [32]

The number of short journeys taken by foot has more than doubled since 2002. [33]

In the city centre the number of car trips into the city centre has continued to fall: from a peak of 37% of modal share in 2006 to 28% in 2012. Now 72% of trips into the city centre are now made by public transport, by bike or on foot. [34]

Traffic growth on urban roads has been managed in the face of population and economic growth; and the safety of Greater Manchester’s roads has improved markedly in recent years, with the incidence of serious accidents down by around a third on levels at the start of the 2000s. [35]


Every day’s a green school day

Currently, 148 (83%) of Manchester’s schools are registered with the Eco-Schools programme, up from 141 (79%) in 20011/12 and well over the average in England. [36]

Many of these schools have achieved awards at bronze and silver level, with two more schools achieving the prestigious Green Flag Award in 2012/13, bringing the total number of Green Flag schools to 17. [37]


... but there’s still plenty of work to do

Transport is still responsible for 27% of direct CO2 emissions and it is a significant contributor to poor air quality, which indicators show may be worsening in some areas. [38]

35% of our direct emissions arise from the domestic sector and there are still 500,000 homes in need of basic insulation. Across GM, there are 220,000 households living in fuel poverty and under-heated homes: equating to 19.8% of total households. [39]

In addition, 87% of the buildings currently standing will still be around in 2050, meaning that retrofitting at scale is required. A report in 2012 suggested that whilst domestic and public sector retrofit is progressing, there may be little or no progress in the commercial sector, currently.

To meet our CO2 emissions reduction target it has been calculated that 3TWh of low carbon heat generation and 1TWh of low carbon electricity generation will need to be in place across Greater Manchester by the early 2020s. This would mean increasing existing levels of wind, solar, hydro, thermal and biomass generation to around 20 times their current levels. [40]


And finally, the shape of Greater Manchester

The total population across Greater Manchester is 2.69million of which more than 1.76 million are of working age (16-64).

Local authority populations break down as follows:  Bolton – 276,800, Bury – 185,100, Manchester – 503,100, Oldham – 224,900, Rochdale – 211,700, Salford – 233,900, Stockport – 283,300, Tameside – 219,300, Trafford – 226,600 and Wigan – 317,800. [41]

The population grew by 7% (+166,000) between 2001 and 2011 and the Manchester local authority area saw its population grow by 19% (+80,400) between 2001 and 2011 – almost three times greater than the national average. [42]

 

 

References

  1. Data from Red Rose Forest/GM Tree Audit 2011.
  2. Data from Red Rose Forest/GM Tree Audit 2011.
  3. Data from Red Rose Forest/GM Tree Audit 2011.
  4. Data courtesy of Manchester City Council 
  5. Data courtesy of Manchester City Council
  6. Data courtesy of Canal and River Trust and the Environment Agency
  7. Data courtesy of New Economy, by kMatrix and Gyron
  8. Data courtesy of New Economy, by kMatrix and Gyron
  9. Data courtesy of ENWORKS
  10. Data courtesy of New Economy
  11. Data courtesy of New Economy
  12. Data courtesy of Manchester City Council
  13. Data courtesy of the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority
  14. Data courtesy of the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority
  15. Data courtesy of the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority
  16. Data courtesy of the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority
  17. Data courtesy of the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub and Manchester City Council
  18. Data courtesy of the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub and Manchester City Council
  19. Data courtesy of Manchester City Council
  20. Data courtesy of Transport for Greater Manchester
  21. Data courtesy of Manchester City Council
  22. Data courtesy of Transport for Greater Manchester
  23. Data courtesy of Transport for Greater Manchester
  24. Data courtesy of Cooler Projects
  25. Data courtesy of People and Planet
  26. Data courtesy of Transport for Greater Manchester
  27. Data courtesy of Transport for Greater Manchester/Velocity 2025
  28. Data courtesy of Transport for Greater Manchester
  29. Data courtesy of Transport for Greater Manchester
  30. Data courtesy of New Economy
  31. Data courtesy of Transport for Greater Manchester
  32. Data courtesy of Transport for Greater Manchester
  33. Data courtesy of New Economy
  34. Data courtesy of Manchester City Council
  35. Data courtesy of Transport for Greater Manchester
  36. Data courtesy of Manchester City Council
  37. Data courtesy of Manchester City Council
  38. Data courtesy of New Economy
  39. Data courtesy of the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub
  40. Data courtesy of New Economy
  41. Data courtesy of New Economy
  42. Data courtesy of New Economy

 

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