Manchester City Council

A Change in the Weather

Two gloriously sunny, warm Spring days, so what could be better for this week's Climate Week, and the dozens of events taking place around the city looking at mitigation and adaptation in response to global warming.

My week began with the second meeting of the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub. The Hub is in the middle of establishing a number of working groups looking at themes like energy, biodiversity, consumption, skills bringing together public, private and third sectors and much of the work of the Hub will be led by those sub-groups. Yesterday's meeting discussed progress in and issues from all of the groups as well as some wider items, Green Deal, the joint venture with the Green Investment Bank, and a proposed memorandum of understanding with Defra included.

The Energy Group raised a very interesting dilemma. Greater Manchester's industrial legacy of lots of weirs in our rivers gives lots of potential for generating hydro electricity but, when they can, the Environment Agency are removing weirs because they're bad for fish life. Suspect we will have far more problems like this, but in the meantime any solutions?

In the afternoon, it was Manchester A Certain Future's third conference. It was able to report on progress since MACR was first published in 2009, and review the action plan for the next three years. Manchester's action plan would appear to still be the country's only Stakeholder written and steered climate change action plan, and thanks to the efforts of the Steering Group and all the stakeholders progress is being made. One bit of evidence to support that is that in the Environment Agency's carbon reduction commitment league table published last week, Manchester City Council was top public body and 4th overall out of 2000 organisations.

However I have no intention of spending too much time being self-congratulatory or slip into complacency. Progress is being made, but not fast enough!

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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