The Council and democracy Zero Carbon Manchester

Annual Reports

Purpose This report provides an overview of progress made in delivering Manchester City Council’s Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) 2020-25 during its second year; April 2021 – March 2022.


The Council declared a Climate Emergency in July 2019 and developed the 5 year Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) 2020-25, setting out its plan to respond to the Climate Emergency, tackle climate change and take action to become a zero-carbon organisation by 2038.  

The Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25 sets a target for the Council to reduce its direct CO2 emissions by 50% between 2020 and 2025 based on a 13% year on year reduction trajectory to reach zero-carbon by 2038.

The CCAP includes 43 individual actions. These are organised into five thematic workstreams, each split into two sections – Council direct actions and City-wide leadership actions. The five workstreams are:

  • Buildings and Energy
  • Travel and Transport
  • Reducing Consumption Based Emissions & Influencing Suppliers
  • Adaptation & Carbon Sequestration
  • Influencing behaviour & Being a Catalyst for Change

Key Messages

The Council has made good progress to date and is on track to reduce its direct CO2 emissions by 50% by 2025. Since 2020, the Council has exceeded its annual reduction targets, achieving 29.4% reductions so far.

In 2021 to 2022, the Council emitted 22,807 tonnes of CO2 which is 84% of the available budget of 27,056 tonnes of CO2. This makes it the 4th year in a row the Council have remained under their annal carbon budget.

In 2021, the CCAP 2020-25 was rated one of the strongest in the country, being 1st place amongst single tier authorities and 3rd overall out of 409 UK Local authorities. This was assessed by Climate Emergency UK who support Local Authorities to deliver climate ambitions.

The Council already put in place investment of approximately £192m to deliver the 5-year Plan. However, it has committed a further £800,000 of revenue investment as part of the 2022-23 budget for the Council, which will provide vital additional capacity to support delivery of the CCAP across the Council. The new posts include:

  • Zero Carbon Project Manager within Strategic Housing to help develop and deliver the Zero Carbon Housing Strategy
  • Zero Carbon Workforce Development Manager to further embed Carbon Literacy across the Council delivering bespoke programmes tailored to specific needs
  • Sustainability Project Manager working specifically to eliminate avoidable Single Use Plastics within the Council and events


A selection of accomplishments made during 2021 to 22:

  • The West Gorton Community Park won two awards: a ‘Golden Pineapple’ Award from the Festival of Place, the Excellence in Flood and Water Management award at the Landscape Institute Awards. The Park was highly commended in the Environment Agency's Flood and Coastal Resilience Awards
  • The Council secured an additional £4.9m of funding from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, to continue the Estates Retrofit programme
  • 69 new low carbon Council properties are being developed by the Council in Newton Heath. These properties will include a range of innovative features including solar PV, Electric Vehicle charging, ground source and air source heating, plus living green roofs and walls
  • 26 eCargo bikes and 6 eCargo trailers are now being used across Council teams, city partners and a public hire schemes as part of a project launched in January 2022 in collaboration with the Energy Saving Trust
  • A “Zero Carbon Culture Guide” was launched in collaboration with sustainability specialists, Julie’s Bicycle. The guide supports cultural organisations to reduce their carbon emissions. Staff in Culture and Events teams received Enhanced Carbon Literacy training to support implementation of its principles, along with those in the existing ‘Sustainable Event Guides’
  • Working with Manchester City Council, the National Football Museum has taken significant action to put environmental practices in focus. The Museum drafted its first Carbon Reduction Plan, trained staff in carbon literacy, secured a new waste collection contract which guarantees no waste to landfill, and updated travel advice to encourage visitors to use low carbon modes of transport. The Museum building is also part of the Council Estates Retrofit Programme


In 2021-22, a number of project risks and issues were identified and managed as part of the formal programme management process. The two issues highlighted below are ongoing risks, which impact several actions within the Climate Change Action Plan:

  • There are ongoing supply chain issues following COVID-19, which are impacting progress. For example, over half of the electric Refuse Collection Vehicles arrived approximately 9-months later than originally planned. This means the associated carbon savings need to be reviewed to assess the impact on annual emission reduction targets and the overall carbon budget.
  • Increases in gas and electricity prices impacting programmes of work and reinforcing the need to take action, such as retrofitting buildings, particularly housing. This has also resulted in more organisations looking to purchase solar farms, leading to the market becoming more challenging. The Civic Heat Network and connected buildings are needing to be monitored daily to ensure the most efficient operating practice is in place

Annual Report on the Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25:

Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?

Fields marked * cannot be left blank

Feedback submitted to us on this form is monitored but you won’t receive a reply. In an emergency, visit our emergency contact details page. Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.