Green and Blue
The first half of the week is very strongly linked to climate change, both mitigation and adaptation. Yesterday the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, was in town. His first call was at the Town Hall extension where the refurbishment and conversion work is not only making the building far more operationally efficient and energy efficient, but also the first link of a series of heat networks that we hope will eventually cover the city. Then it was on to 1 Angel Square, the Co-op's remarkable new headquarters building, which at BREEAM outstanding will be one of the most energy efficient commercial buildings anywhere in the world. After a chance to listen to a range of Manchester people from both the public and private sector, the Minister then went to Oldham to hear about the energy switching scheme being very rapidly developed by Oldham Council supported by the energy unit here at Manchester City Council for the whole of Greater Manchester. The aim is to make it easier for Manchester people to switch to the cheapest tariff available and to help us tackle fuel poverty.
Tomorrow there is a green space conference at the Town Hall. Green spaces, trees in particular, will have a key role in keeping us cool as temperatures rise, as will more surface water, hence the importance of green and blue strategies in cities like Manchester. However, in many respects the highlight of the three days is today with the launch of Manchester's Carbon Literacy programme and the first graduation ceremony for some of the people from the fifty one organisations that have been involved in the pilots, hosted at Exchange Court by the Arndale Centre. The graduates came from third sector organisations like Emerge and Groundwork, the private sector including the Arndale Centre and the Co-op, and the education sector including Manchester Adult Education Service, Heald Place School, and Manchester Metropolitan University. 25% of the savings in Carbon emissions we need to make will come from changing our behaviour. This is not only good for the environment, it saves money at home and helps business become more efficient. The Carbon Literacy programme will help us understand the need to go low carbon and help us do it and the intention is to make it available to every Manchester resident and business. The first thirty Councillors will start their training on Thursday, and every member of Council staff will be trained starting with, over the next nine months, the two and a half thousand staff who will be transferring back from First Street to the Town Hall extension.