A refreshed Climate Change Action Plan charting progress and next steps in the Council’s mission to halve its own direct emissions by 2025 will be considered by councillors this month.
The 50% reduction target is the first major milestone as the authority strives to become a zero carbon organisation by 2038 or sooner. This is the Council’s direct contribution to the Manchester target of the city becoming zero carbon by 2038 at the latest.
The Council is on target to meet this 50% reduction by 2025 – having already delivered a 30% reduction since 2020 through a wide range of measures including the retrofitting of council buildings and the electrification of the organisation’s vehicles including many of its bin lorries.
The priority attached to this work is illustrated by the £192m of funding (including Government and Greater Manchester Combined Authority funding) which the Council has been able to amass to support its zero carbon work to date.
Next steps include the retrofitting of more Council-owned buildings to improve their energy efficiency, further electrification of the vehicle fleet and getting involved in large scale energy generation – either by buying its own solar farm or through purchasing energy directly from a renewable energy source.
The refreshed plan also seeks to build on the Council’s leadership role to support and influence organisations and people across the city to reduce their carbon emissions too.
Councillors will also be asked this month to comment on the updated citywide climate change framework. This sets out the scale of collective action required for the city to reach the 50% carbon emissions reduction milestone, which it is currently not on track to achieve, and get back on track to stay within the city’s science-based carbon budget. It includes recommended actions to be delivered at a local, Greater Manchester and national level.
Cllr Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: “The Council has led the way by cutting our own direct emissions. We have a strong track record and we’re on course to meet the target of halving these emissions by 2025. Our refreshed Climate Change Action Plan reflects our determination to go further, faster.
“But we all know the real prize is reducing emissions for Manchester – and that the city as a whole is not currently on target. That is something which all of us need to confront, the city as a whole needs to do much more and we recognise our leadership role in supporting and influencing the city to reduce emissions.
“While there is a great deal we can achieve together locally, it will also need national government to step up and new sources of private finance to be unlocked if Manchester is to become zero carbon by 2038 or earlier.
Cllr Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment, said: “Climate change isn’t some abstract future crisis. As we’ve seen with extreme heat and flooding in recent times, both here and elsewhere in the world, its impacts are already here and we all have a part to play in reducing its impacts as well as becoming more resilient to them.
“It’s encouraging that good progress is being made against the Council’s own Climate Change Action Plan but we need to do more.
“The cost of living crisis creates new incentives as well as new challenges – for example, we will be striving to help reduce residents’ bills through energy efficiency measures to properties.”
Both the Council’s refreshed Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25 and the updated citywide climate change framework – produced by Manchester Climate Agency on behalf of Manchester Climate Change Partnership – will be considered at the Environment and Climate Change Scrutiny Committee meeting on 8 September and the Executive meeting on 14 September.